Modi flays Cong as Aiyar calls him
Says slur shows Congressmen’s ‘Mughlai and Sultanat mindset’
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday lambasted Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar for using the word neech aadmi (vile man) against him, claiming he was targeted over his caste.
Modi, who was addressing a mammoth election rally in Surat halfan-hour before close of campaigning for the first phase of elections (December 9), said Aiyar’s comments are an “insult” to Gujarat.
Denouncing the “Mughlai and Sultanat mindset” of the Congress and its leaders, he said they have lost mental balance in the face of “imminent defeat” in the upcoming Gujarat Assembly elections.
Aiyar had called him a member of the neech jaati (low caste), a gandi naali ka keeda (creature from a dirty gutter), said Modi. “This is an insult to the PM of India, to Gujarat. If you are angry, you should show your anger by voting for the BJP on December 9 and 14,” he said. “Earlier, when they called me a gadheda (ass), I kept mum.”
In the wake of multiple caste-based agitations since 2015, Gujarat has seen sharp divisions along caste-lines for the first time since 1985, and both the BJP and the Congress have allotted ticket along these lines. The AiyerModi duel two days ahead of polling accentuated the issue.
Aiyer said on a TV news channel that while Jawaharlal Nehru and BR Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses an election rally in Surat on Thursday
Ambedkar together passed the Hindu Code Bill, Modi was saying “dirty things” about the Nehru-Gandhi family. “He is neech. He has no sabhyata (civility),” he said.
Reacting sharply to these comments, Modi said: “Did I ever say or do anything to show anybody in a poor light? Never mind they cast aspersions on my caste. I am serving the lowest of the low people as Gandhiji taught
us. Of course I am from a low caste, but I will do things that are valued higher.”
He further said he, his government and the BJP have been victimised by the Congress for years.
“They called me maut ka saudagar (merchant of death). They plotted to send me and my ministers to jail and continued to hatch conspiracies against us.”
Modi also appealed to BJP workers and the civil society not to react to Congress leaders’ diatribes against him.