Last Updated: Sunday, March 30, 2014, 15:31
Nagapattinam: Nicknamed as 'Kuppai (garbage) Aiyar' by workers of rival parties in Tamil Nadu, Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar said he felt honoured by the sobriquet given to him as it was a testimony to his work.
Aiyar, who courted controversy with his tea-vendor jibe at BJP's prime ministerial candiate Narendra Modi, made the remark last evening while campaigning for the April 24 Lok Sabha polls in Tamil Nadu.
During the past three years, the Rajya Sabha MP has been spending the MP's local area development fund for purchasing tractors and trailers to village panchayats for effective garbage removal.
As a result, workers of other political parties like the ruling AIADMK, DMK and BJP have started addressing him with the sobriquet 'Kuppai (garbage) Aiyar' at election rallies.
"I heard that I have been given the sobriquet 'Kuppai Aiyar' attaching garbage to my name. It does not hurt me. In fact, it is a great honour and a testimony to my work," Aiyar said while addressing an election meeting at Sembanarkoil near Porayar in Nagapattinam district.
"Garbage removal is an important activity and unfortunately, it is not being accorded importance. I wanted to equip each village panchayat with an effective garbage removal machinery and started providing tractors and trailers," he said.
"During one of my previous terms, I allotted funds for constructing crematorium sheds. In fact, nearly 600 sheds have been constructed in the constituency using the MP funds. People jokingly called me 'Sudukattu Aiyar' attaching graveyard with my name. But, I strongly feel it was important project," he said.
Aiyar, contesting from Mayiladuthurai constituency, expressed satisfaction that the projects had reached the people at the grassroots level.
During the AICC meeting in Delhi, Aiyar had mocked Modi's prime ministerial ambitions and said a place will be identified for the Gujarat chief minister to distribute tea there.
First Published: Sunday, March 30, 2014, 15:31