Ai­yar at­tacks PM in ar­ti­cle, Congress prom­ises ac­tion

Hindustan Times (Patiala) - - Nation election20­19 -

I’m push­ing for a new lan­guage in pol­i­tics. Let’s fight each other bru­tally on is­sues. Let’s fight hard on ide­ol­ogy. But... Let’s not use ha­tred and vi­o­lence against each other. It’s bad for In­dia. RAHUL GANDHI, Congress pres­i­dent

An ar­ti­cle writ­ten by Congress leader Mani Shankar Ai­yar, in which he re­called his 2017 “neech admi” re­mark about Naren­dra Modi, point­ing out that his words were “prophetic” caused a po­lit­i­cal storm, with the Prime Min­is­ter bring­ing it up while cam­paign­ing in Pun­jab, and the Congress promising “ap­pro­pri­ate ac­tion” against the for­mer union min­is­ter.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as well as the Congress con­demned Ai­yar’s pur­ported jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for his 2017 re­marks. The Congress promised ap­pro­pri­ate ac­tion against Ai­yar while the BJP called him “abuser-in-chief”.

In an ar­ti­cle Ai­yar wrote for on­line news sites, Ris­ing Kash­mir and The Print and pub­lished on Mon­day, he said Modi will be ousted on May 23 when the re­sults of the on­go­ing Lok Sabha polls would be an­nounced. “That would be a fit­ting end to the most foul-mouthed prime min­is­ter this coun­try has seen or is likely to see,” Ai­yar wrote.

“Re­mem­ber how I de­scribed him [Modi] on 7 De­cem­ber 2017? Was I not prophetic?” Ai­yar wrote.

Ai­yar was re­fer­ring to his 2017 com­ment call­ing Modi a “neech aadmi” ahead of the Gu­jarat assem­bly elec­tions. He was sus­pended from the Congress over the re­mark. The sus­pen­sion was re­voked in 2018.

At an elec­tion rally in Chandi­garh on Tues­day, Modi at­tacked Ai­yar and the Congress, say­ing he takes such abuses as “gifts” and the pub­lic will re­spond to each and ev­ery abuse by re-elect­ing the BJP gov­ern­ment.

“Dur­ing Gu­jarat elec­tions, their con­fi­dante who had oc­cu­pied an im­por­tant po­si­tion in their gov­ern­ment said Modi is ‘neech’. There was an out­rage in Gu­jarat and then, they (Congress) pre­tended to throw him out of the party. Af­ter some days, he was taken back,” Modi said, re­fer­ring to Ai­yar.

Re­spond­ing to Ai­yar’s ar­ti­cle, Congress’s chief spokespers­on, Ran­deep Sur­je­w­ala, said an ap­pro­pri­ate fo­rum of his party will def­i­nitely look at Ai­yar’s jus­ti­fi­ca­tion and take ap­pro­pri­ate ac­tion.

“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,” he said.

Sur­je­w­ala ac­cused Modi of low­er­ing the po­lit­i­cal dis­course by us­ing “down­right in­sult­ing” and “abu­sive lan­guage” against his op­po­nents. He said ha­tred, vi­o­lence, and abuse is the modus operandi of the BJP and not of the Congress.

“We give due re­gard even to our worst po­lit­i­cal en­emy as was shown by Rahul Gandhi on the floor of Par­lia­ment,” he said, re­fer­ring to Gandhi’s hug to Modi af­ter at­tack­ing his gov­ern­ment in July last year.

Sur­je­w­ala said Modi has “se­ri­ously low­ered the pres­tige of the of­fice of the prime min­is­ter in in­de­pen­dent In­dia by his choice of words, anger, un­con­trol­lable rage, and by his quest to seek re­venge against ev­ery op­po­si­tion leader, par­tic­u­larly the Congress pres­i­dent [Rahul Gandhi] and his fam­ily”.

Later, ad­dress­ing a press con­fer­ence in Shimla, Ai­yar said this was just one line in his ar­ti­cle and he will not get in­volved in me­dia’s “games” when re­porters asked his about the fresh con­tro­versy. “I am a fool, but not such a big fool,” he said.

“...Ai­yar then apol­o­gized and hid be­hind poor Hindi ex­cuse. Now he says he was prophetic. Congress re­voked his sus­pen­sion last year for filthy out­burst. Dou­ble speak and ar­ro­gance of @INCIn­dia [Congress] on dis­play again!” BJP spokesman G V L Narasimha Rao tweeted.

“I’m push­ing for a new lan­guage in pol­i­tics. Let’s fight each other bru­tally on is­sues. Let’s fight hard on ide­ol­ogy. But... Let’s not use ha­tred and vi­o­lence against each other. It’s bad for In­dia,” Congress pres­i­dent Rahul Gandhi tweeted on Tues­day.

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