New Delhi: Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar on Friday said Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi is only capable of becoming a tea stall vendor.
Addressing the All India Congress Committee (AICC) meeting here, Aiyar stated: "Narendra Modi can never be the Prime Minister of India. However, if he wants, we can set up a tea stall for him here."
Reacting to his statement, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah tweeted, "Modi has a lot of negatives but his humble origins are a positive some of us can't claim. We aren't helping our campaign by mocking him."
While the comment immediately set the social media abuzz, Aiyar on his part refused to apologise for the remark.
"It is Modi who keeps bringing to the fore his background of being a tea stall owner while making a pitch to the people of India for the elections. Therefore, I just said that Modi will never be the Prime Minister of India, but if he wants, we can set up a tea stall for him here," CNN IBN quoted Aiyar as saying.
"Modi has demonstrated that he doesn't know our history, our Constitution and our laws. He has a development model that is not inclusive of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe and minorities," he added.
Reacting to Aiyar's remarks, BJP spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy said, "Nothing better is expected from Mani Shankar Aiyar."
Earlier in November last year, Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Naresh Agarwal attacked Modi and said a "tea stall vendor" cannot become the prime minister of the country.
"One who used to sell tea cannot have a national perspective. Modi wants to become the PM of the country but a tea vendor's point of view can never be that of a national stature," Agarwal said while addressing a rally in Uttar Pradesh's Hardoi district.
"Like if you make a 'sipahi' (constable) as 'kaptan' (Superintendent of Police) then he can never change his perception. His perception will remain like a constable," he had added.
The Gujarat Chief Minister has often referred to his humble background while addressing rallies in the country. "I have sold tea at the railway station and in running trains," Modi had said in a rally earlier.