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Aiyar’s ‘neech’ remark row highlights: Rahul says Cong respects status of PM, nobody can speak against him

Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar, suspended from the party for calling Prime Minister Narendra Modi a ‘neech aadmi’, said he would accept any punishment. Here are the highlights:

india Updated: Dec 08, 2017 19:20 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Mani Shankar Aiyar,‪Narendra Modi‬,Live updates
Former Congress MP Mani Shankar Aiyar has kicked up a row after he referred to Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a “neech aadmi”.(HT file)

Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar has triggered a row after calling Narendra Modi a “neech aadmi”, prompting his party to suspend his primary membership and issue a show-cause notice.

In an apparent move to contain the possible damage barely two days ahead of the keenly contested assembly elections in the prime minister’s home state, Gujarat, the Congress announced disciplinary action against Aiyar, insisting it showed the party’s “Gandhian leadership”.

Here are highlights of the day’s development:

2.05pm: Union minister and BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad in Ahmedabad says, “Fun, pun and satire are part of politics but abuse is not part of politics.”

1.45pm: Mani Shankar Aiyar speaks out. “If any damage has been done to Congress because of what I said or did then I am saddened by it. I had no such intention. I am ready to accept any punishment that the Congress party wants to give me.”

1.40pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is Gujarat to address rallies for state assembly polls, said, “Mani Shankar Aiyar told people when he visited Pakistan — remove Modi from the way and then see what happens to India-Pakistan peace. What did he mean by removing me from the way? And what is my crime? That I have blessings of the people?”

1.30pm: Congress vice-president reacts to Mani Shankar Aiyar’s suspension at a rally in Gujarat. “Congress respects the status of the prime minister, nobody from the party can speak against him... Prime Minister Modi can say anything about us, that’s why we took strong action against Mani Shankar Aiyar”.

10.41am: BJP’s Shahnawaz Hussain says Aiyar’s remark has upset the people of Gujarat. “Sab kuch luta ke hosh main aae to kya hua? (It is of no consequence if you came to senses after losing everything),” says Hussain.

10.40am: Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath condemns Aiyar’s ‘neech’ remark. “Mani Shankar Aiyar’s remark is shameful and unfortunate. We condemn it. Using such words for the Prime Minister is an insult of India and its people. Congress party must apologise or people of Gujarat will teach them a lesson in upcoming election.”

10.35am: Amar Singh further said at a time when he had an argument with Aiyar, he gave him a befitting reply, “The tiff between me and Aiyar became famous across the country.”

10.30am: There are many leaders in the country who have been victims of Mani Shankar Aiyar, says Amar Singh. “Iss desh ke anek neta Mani peedit hain, iss mein Uma Bharti ji, late Jayalalithaa ji aur tamaam bade bade naam hain. Mai swayam bhi Mani peedit hoon. (In this country many people have been troubled by Mani Shankar Aiyar. Aiyar has insulted many influential people like Tamil Nadu chief minister Jayalalithaa. I too have had a sour experience with him).

First Published: Dec 08, 2017 10:43 IST