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'Was I Not Prophetic?' Mani Shankar Aiyar Justifies 'Neech' Comment Against PM Modi, Stirs New Row

Mani Shankar Aiyar first made the 'neech' remark in the middle of the 2017 Gujarat election campaign, a move that backfired on the Congress.


Updated:May 14, 2019, 11:37 PM IST

New Delhi: As the mammoth seven-phased Lok Sabha election draws to a close, senior Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar has reignited a controversy with an article in which he justifies his “neech” slur for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, for which he was suspended two years ago.

In the opinion piece, published in Rising Kashmir and reproduced by The Print, the Congress leader accused Modi of leading a “dirty election campaign” and said his attempts to ride on the sacrifices of the army make him “guilty of anti-national activity”.

He also attacked the Prime Minister for his “stunningly illiterate claims”, spoken in context of the Balakot air strikes, when he said “clouds would help Indian jets escape Pakistani radars.”

“Did Modi take his senior-most Air Force officers for fools that he could trot out such ridiculous unscientific rubbish before them? And were they so pusillanimous that they dared not correct such a vacuous Prime Minister,” he wrote.

Modi will, Aiyar added, be ousted by people of India on May 23. In a reference to his ‘neech’ remark, he added, “That would be a fitting end to the most foul-mouthed prime minister this country has seen or is likely to see. Remember how I described him on 7 December 2017? Was I not prophetic?”

Aiyar first made this remark in the middle of the 2017 Gujarat election campaign, a move that backfired on the Congress. He was later asked by party chief Rahul Gandhi to apologise.

The senior Congress leader also said Modi hates former prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru because he had a degree in Natural Sciences from the University of Cambridge, while the PM’s “acquaintance with higher education has gone no further than lying about degrees from Delhi and Gujarat universities”.

Hitting back, BJP leader Amit Malviya said that the “irrepressible” Aiyar was upset that Sam Pitroda was getting all the attention for his “hua toh hua” remarks on the anti-Sikh riots of 1984. “Upset that Sam Pitroda was getting all the attention, the irrepressible Mani Shankar Aiyar pulls Pitroda’s foot out of his mouth... Reiterates and justifies his ‘Neech’ comment for PM!"

BJP candidate and spokesperson Sambit Patra tweeted: "So finally ...the "Jewel (मणि)" of the Gandhi family too has contributed to the "Politics of Love" of Rahul Gandhi in #LokSabhaEelctions2019 by defining His "Neech comment" on Modi ji as prophetic ..."

This is not the first time that Aiyar has resorted to making provocative statements against the BJP. During the 2014 national election, he remarked that the Congress would welcome Modi to serve tea after the BJP lost. The BJP returned the fire by launching a campaign titled “chai pe charcha”. ​

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| Edited by: Zoya Mateen
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