Congress on Thursday evening suspended senior leader Mani Shankar Aiyar for calling PM Narendra Modi a ‘neech aadmi’. He has also been issued a show cause notice by the party for making nasty remarks against PM Modi. Aiyar’s remark had stirred a massive controversy earlier in the day with leaders from his own party condemning his words against the prime minister. Aiyar had launched an attack on PM Modi for seeking votes in the name of BR Ambedkar, but not recognising his contribution for the country. “He (Modi) is ‘neech kism ka aadmi’ (a vile man) who has no ‘sabhyata’ (civility),” Aiyar had said. 

Aiyar’s remarks faced sharp criticism from members of his own party. Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi had said that he did not appreciate the language and tone Aiyar used for Mr Modi and expected him to apologise for his remarks. “Both the Congress and I expect him to apologise for what he said,” the Gandhi scion posted on Twitter. Aiyar later said that he was not the official spokesperson of Congress and could reply to the prime minister in his own language. He, however, clarified that he did not intend to target PM Modi’s caste by his remark. “Neech word can have different interpretations, my intention was never to talk of PM’s caste.I apologise if it also has a caste meaning,” Aiyar said. 

Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath too hit out at Aiyar for his jibe against the PM terming it ‘shameful’. “#ManiShankarAiyar’s remark is shameful, we condemn it. Using such words for PM is an insult of India & its people, they must apologize or people of Gujarat will teach them a lesson,” Yogi Adityanath tweeted. FM Arun Jaitley said that the jibe was not only a matter of  language but exposed Congress’ mindset. “It is not just a matter of filthy language but of Congress’ mindset which says that only one family can rule this country and if someone from the weaker section becomes PM then they call him chaiwala & neech,” Jaitley said.