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Lok Sabha elections 2019: Aiyar justifies ‘neech’ remark on Modi, BJP hits back

PM Modi said the writing on the wall, after six rounds of voting, was clear and this is why, opposition leaders are angry.

lok sabha elections Updated: May 17, 2019 18:59 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Buxar
BJP,Congress,Lok Sabha
At this rally, the prime minister said Bihar deputy chief minister Sushil Modi had already mentioned some of the instances of name calling by the opposition.(HT Photo)

Opposition leaders are competing with each other to abuse Narendra Modi because they have figured that they will lose the national elections, Prime Minister Modi said at an election rally hours after a fresh controversy erupted over an article written by Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar.

PM Modi said the writing on the wall, after six rounds of voting, was clear and this is why, opposition leaders are angry.

“This is why the competition to abuse Modi has picked up pace. They can’t win so they are venting their frustration by abusing (me),” the prime minister said at an election rally in Bihar’s Buxar before moving on to attack the alliance of opposition parties.

At this rally, the prime minister said Bihar deputy chief minister Sushil Modi had already mentioned some of the instances of name calling by the opposition.

PM Modi’s comments have come after an article written by Mani Shankar Aiyar, the Congress leader who was suspended by the party in the run up to the Gujarat assembly elections in 2017 for describing the Prime Minister as a ‘neech aadmi’. The suspension was revoked less than a year later.

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In an opinion piece that was first published by the Jammu and Kashmir-based Rising Kashmir newspaper, Mani Shankar Aiyar said the PM Modi-led BJP will be defeated in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections.

“That would be a fitting end to the most foul-mouthed prime minister this country has seen or is likely to see. Remember how I described him on 7 December 2017? Was I not prophetic?” he said. Aiyar’s comment was seen as a reference to his description of PM Modi as a ‘neech aadmi’ ahead of the Gujarat elections.

BJP leaders rushed to slam Aiyar. BJP’s GVL Narasimha Rao tweeted, “‘Abuser-in-chief’ Aiyar returns to justify 2017 ‘Neech’ jibe”, underlining that it had put the “double speak and arrogance” of the Congress on display again.

Union law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad’s said Aiyar’s remarks would end up drowning the Congress further.

In a tweet, the BJP’s Sambit Patra mocked Congress president Rahul Gandhi, stressing that Aiyar, who he described as the jewel of the Gandhi family, had contributed to the “politics of love” of Rahul Gandhi by calling “neech comment” on the PM prophetic.

Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan called Aiyar’s ‘Neech Aadmi’ (low man) remark uncultured. Talking to ANI, Pradhan said: “Aiyar is very arrogant and has always been a blind supporter of Gandhi family. It was an uncultured remark.”

An ANI report quoted Aiyar as saying that there was no need for a clarification. “There is a whole article, picking out one line from it and saying “now talk on this”. I am not ready to be involved in your games, ‘main ullu hoon, lekin itna bada ullu nahi hoon’ (I could be stupid but not so stupid).”

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“Anything I say is misused because there are people who hate me. They hate me because I speak the truth but I will keep doing so,” he added.

Speaking at a press conference Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala condemned Aiyar’s remarks. “We completely reject and condemn the remarks of the likes of Mani Shankar Aiyar and every other person who is violating the time-tested principle of self discipline in political discourse, of mutual respect and adherence to ideas and ideology, and not to verbally abuse while fighting an election, to give due regard even to your worst political enemy as was shown by Rahul Gandhi on the floor of Parliament,” he said.

First Published: May 15, 2019 01:05 IST

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