As the campaigning for the first phase of the Gujarat elections draws to an end, PM Narendra Modi conducted a rally in Surat earlier today.
While addressing the local crowd here, PM Modi talked about Congress' failure as a governing party, "People did not get continuous electricity. When the BJP got to serve Gujarat we ensured continuous power. The demand for Surat was long pending and it is the BJP that has worked on this," he noted.
PM Modi went on to talk about Congress' Mani Shankar Aiyar who had allegedly called him "neech". "Congress leaders are speaking in a language that is not acceptable in a democracy. One Congress leader, who has studied in best institutions, served as a diplomat, was a Minister in Cabinet, said Modi is 'Neech.' This is insulting. This is nothing but a Mughalai mindset," PM Modi exclaimed.
Congress leaders are speaking in a language that is not acceptable in democracy. One Congress leader, who has studied in best institutions, served as a diplomat, was a Minister in Cabinet, he said Modi is 'Neech.' This is insulting. This is nothing but a Mughalai Mindset: PM pic.twitter.com/9IvKewDPMw
Union Minister of Law and Justice, Ravi Shankar Prasad reacted by saying that Congress leader, Mani Shankar Aiyar's mindset is a "darbaari" one. "He (Mr Aiyar) has called our PM 'neech' but we are proud of our Prime Minister," Ravi Shankar Prasad noted.
Mani Shankar Aiyar has called our PM 'neech' but we are proud of our Prime Minister, he has answered (Mani Shankar Aiyar) very politely & sensibly. Aiyar's mindset is a 'darbaari' one: Ravi Shankar Prasad pic.twitter.com/XLc3T1Ryp3
Prime Minister Narendra Modi further noted that "the people of Gujarat will give a fitting answer to such deplorable language... They can call me 'Neech'- Yes, I am from the poor section of society and will spend every moment of my life to work for the poor, Dalits, Tribals and OBC communities. They can keep their language, we will do our work," he noted while addressing the rally in Surat.
Yes, they called me 'Neech' but our value systems are strong. We have nothing to say to such elements. Our answer will come through ballot box. We have seen enough insults from them. They insulted me when I was CM. They called me 'Maut Ka Saudagar' & wanted to jail me: PM Modi pic.twitter.com/XNxyeTKBb7
In the meanwhile Congress Vice President, Rahul Gandhi asked Mr Aiyar to apologise for his use of language against PM Modi.
BJP and PM routinely use filthy language to attack the Congress party. The Congress has a different culture and heritage. I do not appreciate the tone and language used by Mr Mani Shankar Aiyer to address the PM. Both the Congress and I expect him to apologise for what he said.
Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar had previously derided PM Modi calling him a tea seller who could never become the Prime Minister of the country.
Mani Shankar Aiyar finally retorted saying that "Everyday PM is using foul language against our leaders. I am a freelance Congressi, I hold no post in the party, so I can reply to PM in his language," he told media today.
Why was PM taking a jibe at Congress and Rahul Gandhi at inauguration of a Centre on Baba Saheb Ambedkar? Everyday PM is using foul language against our leaders. I am a freelance Congressi, I hold no post in the party, so I can reply to PM in his language: Mani Shankar Aiyar pic.twitter.com/SBqzIjyZsz
"I meant low level when I said 'neech', I think in English when I speak in Hindi as Hindi is not my mother tongue," clarified Aiyar.
I meant low level when I said 'neech', I think in English when I speak in Hindi as Hindi is not my mother tongue. So if it has some other meaning then I apologize: Mani Shankar Aiyar pic.twitter.com/yf5tshB1Vt
Political leaders like Lalu Prasad Yadav and Union Minister of Finance Arun Jaitley also reacted on the row.
It is not just a matter of filthy language but of Congress' mindset which says that only one family can rule this country and if someone from the weaker section becomes PM then they call him 'chaiwala' & 'neech': Arun Jaitley pic.twitter.com/cWtDZMx7Cb
In case you missed out on what was exactly said by Mr Aiyar, here's a look!
#WATCH: "Ye aadmi bahut neech kisam ka aadmi hai, is mein koi sabhyata nahi hai, aur aise mauke par is kisam ki gandi rajniti karne ki kya avashyakta hai?: Congress' Mani Shankar Aiyar on PM Modi pic.twitter.com/sNXeo6a1Gi