New Delhi: A day after being suspended from the primary membership of the party for his 'neech' remarks against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Mani Shankar Aiyar said he was ready for any punishment that is handed out to him by Congress.
Aiyar was accusing PM Modi of 'dirty politics' when he made the purported casteist slur. "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.
While several political leaders were swift in condemning him for his remark, even Congress Vice President Rahul Gandi said the words used were unacceptable. Aiyar, who had previously said he may have misspoken because Hindi was not his mother tongue, remarked on Friday said that he regretted his words if it hurt the party. "I am ready to accept any punishment that the Congress party wants to give me. If any damage has been done to Congress because of what I said or did then I am saddened by it," he said. "I had no such intention."
The BJP though has torn into both Aiyar and the Congress for the remark. While PM Modi said at an election rally that the remark reflects the Mughal mindset of Congress, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley termed the eventual suspension as 'strategic.'