Ahmedabad: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders on Thursday slammed the Congress Party and its leader Mani Shankar Aiyar over his low remarks against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, calling it their 'strategy'.
Aiyar on Thursday called PM Modi a "neech aadmi" (low-born) for appropriating Babasaheb Ambedkar for his election campaign for the upcoming Gujarat assembly elections.
In a damage control method, the Congress Party on Thursday night suspended Mani Shankar Aiyar from the primary membership of the party.
Congress leader Randeep Surjewala on Thursday took to Twitter to apprise of the development.
He wrote that this was the party's 'Gandhiwadi' leadership that believed in respecting the opponents. Congress has issued a showcause notice to Aiyar and suspended him from the primary membership of the party.
Surjewala further asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi if he would ever show the courage to do something like this.
Reacting on the remark, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said, "I think it is a well-thought strategy by Congress to use filthy language about the prime minister and spread misinformation. But when there is public outrage, they apologise."
"It is not just a matter of filthy language but of Congress' mindset which resonates that only one family can rule this country. If someone from the weaker section becomes the prime minister, then they call him 'chaiwala' and 'neech'," Jaitley added.
Further, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad took a jibe at Aiyar, saying the mindset of Aiyar is of a 'darbaari' (court man) in the courtroom of Congress.
"Mani Shankar Aiyar has called our prime minister 'neech'. His mindset is of a 'darbaari'," Prasad said.
Appreciating Prime Minister Modi for giving a befitting reply to the Congress leader, Prasad said, "We are proud of our prime minister as he answered (Mani Shankar Aiyar) very politely and sensibly."
Soon after Aiyar's remarks, the prime minister told the media, "One Congress leader, who has studied in the best institutions, served as a diplomat and was a cabinet minister, called me 'neech' (low-born). This is insulting and is nothing but Mughlai mindset."
Meanwhile, Aiyar has 'apologised' for calling Prime Minister Modi 'neech', saying he had a different meaning of the word in mind and that he never called the prime minister a 'chaiwala'.
Earlier in the day, while talking to ANI, Aiyar had said it was the first prime minister of India, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, who turned Dr Ambedkar's wish into reality and it was not correct to badmouth the Nehru-Gandhi family.
"This person [PM Modi] is a 'neech aadmi' (low-minded). He is not civilised and in a situation like this, there is no need to practice such dirty politics," Aiyar had said.