A day after the Prime Minister and the BJP launched a scathing attack on Congress senior leader Mani Shankar Aiyar for calling the PM "neech", the Prime Minister was in no mood to relent as he further thrashed Aiyar on Friday of being an anti-national leader who went to Pakistan, perhaps, as alleged by Narendra Modi, to "arrange for his supari".
" What did Mani Shankar Aiyar mean when he went to Pakistan and said 'remove Modi from the way and then see what will happen to India-Pakistan peace process?' What did he mean? Had he gone to Pakistan with the intent of arranging for my removal?"
The Prime Minister alleged that the Congress leader, through his vicious thinking and talking, had only chosen to expose himself and that there was nothing for the BJP to fear as they have the support of the people.
Mani Shankar Aiyar had been caught on tape telling Pakistani leaders: 'remove Modi from the way and then see what will happen to India-Pakistan peace.'
"What did he mean by removing me from the way? And what is my crime? That we have the blessings of the people?"
Earlier on Thursday, Congress leader and former UPA Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar had called the Prime Minister a 'neech aadmi' (lowly person) while speaking about BR Ambedkar. Following this, the Prime Minister replied to Aiyar's remarks at a rally in Surat. At about the same time, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi chastised his party-mate for his remarks and asked him to apologise. However, in characteristic fashion, Rahul Gandhi's tweet also accused the Prime Minister and BJP of "routinely using filthy language to attack the Congress party."
Immediately after that, Mani Shankar Aiyar, while briefing the media, said, “Yes, I used the word ‘neech’. I wanted to call him a 'low person' and in my understanding, low translates to ‘neech’ in Hindi.” He did not offer an unconditional apology, instead of saying, "If neech has been interpreted as low-born, I apologise."
Upon being further questioned, an enraged Aiyar forcibly grabbed Republic TV's microphone and threw it to the ground. Further attempts to get a reply from Aiyar went unanswered. Later in the day the Congress in a press conference upheld its decision of suspending Mani Shankar Aiyar's primary membership over the use of derogatory language against the Prime Minister.