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Mani Shankar Aiyar says 2017 'neech aadmi' jibe against Narendra Modi 'prophetic', calls PM 'most foul-mouthed prime minister'

New Delhi: Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar on Tuesday said he stands by his 'neech aadmi' jibe against Narendra Modi and termed his December 2017 remark about the prime minister as "prophetic".

"I said what I wanted to say in that article. I stand by every word. I have no desire to engage in any argument," Aiyar said.

The Congressman called the prime minister "foul-mouthed" and added that his ouster is certain on 23 May. Aiyar, in an article for an online publication, charged Modi of being "guilty of anti-national activity in trying to ride on the sacrifices of martyrs".

"Modi will, in any case, be ousted by the people of India on 23 May. 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?" the former diplomat wrote in ThePrint.

 Mani Shankar Aiyar says 2017 neech aadmi jibe against Narendra Modi prophetic, calls PM most foul-mouthed prime minister

File image of Mani Shankar Aiyar. CNN News18

In the run-up to 2017 Gujarat Assembly polls, Aiyar had referred to Modi as a "neech aadmi", a remark that cost his party heavily in the state.

"This person is a 'neech aadmi'. He is not civilised, and in a situation like this, there is no need to practise such dirty politics," the Congress leader had said. Congress chief Rahul Gandhi had to ask Aiyar to tender an apology, given the political storm over his tasteless comment.

"Modi needs to be warned that he is guilty of anti-national activity in trying to ride on the sacrifices of our army and CRPF martyrs in a dirty election campaign; of defaming the Indian Air Force by portraying them as complaisant idiots in his scientific illiteracy; and the Indian Navy as being packed at its highest echelons with traitors who would acquiesce in unauthorised foreigners being allowed to board a top of the line defence vessel," Aiyar wrote in the article in an apparent reference to actor Akshay Kumar's visit to INS Sumitra. Kumar had recently gone on record to confirm that he holds a Canadian passport.

The Congress leader's comments were met with sharp criticism by the BJP, with party men terming it an attention-seeking act.

"Upset that Sam Pitroda was getting all the attention, the irrepressible Mani Shankar Aiyar pulls Pitroda's foot out of his mouth and puts it in his... Reiterates and justifies his 'neech' comment for PM!" BJP IT cell chief Amit Malaviya tweeted.

Dubbing Aiyar a "jewel of Gandhi family", BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra tweeted, "So finally ...the "Jewel(mani)" of the Gandhi family too has contributed to the "Politics of Love" of Rahul Gandhi in the #LokSabhaEelctions2019 by defining his "neech comment" on Modi ji as prophetic."

Aiyar is not new to making out-of-the-line remarks. His "chaiwala" remark ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha polls had stoked a controversy, as well. The Congress will welcome Modi to sell tea at party meetings, he had said.

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Updated Date: May 14, 2019 11:57:05 IST