NEW DELHI: Hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked the people of Gujarat to teach a lesson to Congress party in the upcoming assembly elections over its leader Mani Shankar Aiyar's 'Neech' remark, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi asked the veteran leader to issue an apology for his remark.
"BJP and PM routinely use filthy language to attack the Congress party. The Congress has a different culture and heritage. I do not appreciate the tone and language used by Mr Mani Shankar Aiyer to address the PM. Both the Congress and I expect him to apologise for what he said," Rahul said, in a tweet.
After Rahul's tweet, Aiyar issued a clarification over his remark saying, "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."
He, however, maintained that he had not referred to him as 'low-born'.
Asked about Rahul's reaction of not appreciating his words to address PM Modi, Aiyar said he could talk about it only after meeting the Congress vice-president.
Earlier today, while addressing an election rally in Gujarat, PM Modi took a jibe at Aiyar's remark saying Congress leaders have the mindset similar to that of the Mughals.
"Congress leaders are speaking in a language that is not acceptable in a democracy. One Congress leader, who has studied in best institutions, served as a diplomat, was a Minister in Cabinet, he said Modi is 'neech.' This is insulting. This is nothing but a mindset that of the Mughals," Modi said.
Modi's rhetoric comes after Aiyar on Thursday used derogatory language against the PM.
"Mujhko lagta hai ki ye aadmi bahut neech kisam ka aadmi hai, isme koi sabhyata nahi hai, or aise mauke par is kisam ki gandi rajniti karne ki kya avashyakta hai?" Mani Shankar Aiyar was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
Coming down hard at the Congress, the Prime Minister further said, "This Mughalai mindset sees everyone as 'neech.' What all have they called us..donkeys, 'neech', 'gandi naali ke keede'
He expressed confidence in the Gujarat electorate of not accepting the deplorable language of the Congress leaders and vote for the BJP.
The crowd replied with a huge uproar saying 'NO', when Modi asked them, "You all have seen me, I have been CM and PM. Has anyone had to hold his or her head in shame due to me? Have I done any shameful thing? Them why are they calling me 'Neech'?"