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Lok Sabha elections 2019: ‘Can’t win polls, so competing to abuse me,’ says PM Modi after Aiyar jibe

In an opinion piece that was first published by the Jammu and Kashmir-based Rising Kashmir newspaper, Mani Shankar Aiyar prophesized PM Modi-led BJP’s defeat in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections.

lok sabha elections Updated: May 14, 2019 18:00 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PM Modi,Narendra Modi,Mani Shankar Aiyar
Ballia: Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses an election campaign rally for the seventh and last phase of Lok Sabha polls, in Ballia, Tuesday, May 14, 2019. (PTI Photo) (PTI)

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 Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar’s opinion piece.

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 did not list how he had been called names by opposition parties in the past. Bihar deputy chief minister Sushil Modi, he said, had already mentioned some of the instances of name calling by the opposition.

Also read| Wasn’t I prophetic, asks Aiyar in jibe at PM; BJP calls him ‘abuser-in-chief’

PM Modi’s speech comes against the backdrop of a new row over an opinion piece 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 The suspension was revoked less than a year later.

In an opinion piece that was first published by the Jammu and Kashmir-based Rising Kashmir newspaper, Mani Shankar Aiyar prophesized PM Modi-led BJP’s defeat 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.

‘Abuser-in-chief’ Aiyar returns to justify 2017 ‘Neech’ jibe,” tweeted BJP’s GVL Narasimha Rao, underlining that it had put the “double speak and arrogance” of the Congress on display again. Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad’s message to Aiyar was that his remarks would end up drowning the Congress further.

In a tweet, BJP’s Sambit Patra said 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 defining His “neech comment” on PM Modi as prophetic.

Also read| ‘BJP will win more seats than in 2014’: Rajnath Singh

Mani Shankar Aiyar declined to get into the debate. According to news agency ANI, he said 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).”

“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”, Aiyar said, according to ANI.

First Published: May 14, 2019 14:50 IST

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