Minutes after Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi nudged Mani Shankar Aiyar to apologise for his “neech aadmi” remark against PM Modi, the embattled leader issued a carefully-worded defence for his pointed criticism of the Prime Minister.
Prime Minister, who said at an election rally in Gujarat, “They can call me neech(low), but I will keep doing oonche (high) work.” The Congress, PM Modi said as campaigning ended for the first phase of assembly elections, has insulted his home state Gujarat. “Gujarat will reply,” he said, also stating, “Yes, I am from the poor section of society and will spend every moment of my life working for the poor, Dalits, Tribals and OBC communities. They can keep their language, we will do our work.”
The Prime Minister described Mr Aiyar’s comment as an example of the Congress’ “Mughal values that teach to demean castes and talk about upper and lower castes.”
Rahul tweeted as he asked the veteran Congressman to apologise for his comments, I do not “appreciate the tone and language” used by Ayiar, .”Both the Congress and I expect him to apologise for what he said,” Rahul said, after using the opportunity to hit out at the Bharatiya Janata Party for “routinely ” using “filthy language to attack the Congress party.”
Aiyar then backtracked on his use of the epithet “neech aadmi” with regards to PM Modi, clarifying that he did not mean to insinuate that the Prime Minister was low-born and had only been referring to the BJP leader’s “low level” or regressive politics.
I meant low level when I said 'neech', I think in English when I speak in Hindi as Hindi is not my mother tongue. So if it has some other meaning then I apologize: Mani Shankar Aiyar pic.twitter.com/yf5tshB1Vt
— ANI (@ANI) December 7, 2017
However, it seems that Aiyar’s cleverly crafted apology has not appeased the BJP.