21:48 (IST)Omar Abdullah takes swipe on BJP
21:46 (IST)Congress suspends Aiyar from party; BJP calls action an eyewash
21:45 (IST)BJP leader Rajyavardhan Rathore compiles list of abuses hurled at Modi by Congress leaders
21:40 (IST)Omar Abdullah backs Rahul Gandhi on action against Aiyar, says Congress VP handled neech fiasco like a leader
21:31 (IST)Yogi Adityanath condemns Aiyar's remarks
21:29 (IST)Maharashtra BJP leader files case against Aiyar for his remark Maharashtra BJP leader files case against Mani Shankar Aiyer in Ahmednagar for his Neech Aadmi remark, India Today TV reported.
21:22 (IST)Congress asks BJP will it dare to follow suit? Intemperate comments by politicians are not unheard of. All parties have been at the wrong side of the debate once in a while. However, the Congress party says it has taken the first step. Speaking to India Today, Congress Spokesperson Jaiveer Shergill said that levels of politicking have been lowered, adding that his party has taken the first step. He asked that whether the BJP would dare to follow suit. Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala also tweeted a similar challenge to the BJP.
21:08 (IST)Congress suspends Aiyar from party, sends him showcause notice
20:38 (IST)'Never called Modi chaiwallah, didn't know meaning of nalayak': Aiyar defends past intemperate remarks Mani Shankar Aiyar was asked some obvious but unpleasant questions after today's controversy, and the Congress leader obliged with a response. On the question of calling Narendra Modi a chaiwallah (tea-seller) in 2014, Aiyar said he never used the word chaiwallah and the video evidence of same is available. On a past incident from 1998 when he called then PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee a nalayak (incompetent), he said he used the word thinking nalayak was an antonym of layak, but Hamid Ansari later enlightened him on the usage of the pejorative Hindi language word.
20:38 (IST)Not the first time Aiyar courted controversy Mani Shankar Aiyar is no stranger to controversy. He has in the past too, invited backlash for his rather intemperate remarks. Here are some of those instances. Elections didn't happen in Mughal time: In trying to defend the dynast tag on his party, Aiyar had created another controversy just day's ago. When Rahul Gandhi filed his nomination for the post of Congress president, Aiyar had said, “When Shah Jahan came in the place of Jahangir did any election happen? And when Aurangzeb came in place of Shah Jahan did any election happen? It was known to everyone that the throne of the king will automatically go to the heir." Chaiwallah jibe : Aiyar, commenting on Modi's beginnings as a tea-sller had said that he can never become a PM in 21st century, but if he wishes to sell tea, they can make some space for him there. Many believe that Aiyar's 'chai-wala' barb that came just ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha polls helped the then BJP prime ministerial candidate a great deal as he often referred to it in his campaign to highlight his humble background and attack the Congress. Calling Vajpayee nalayak : Aiyar had in 1998 called then prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee a nalayak (worthless or useless). At that time too, he had used a similar defense, saying he did not quite understand the import of Hindi words. Haafiz Saeed Saab: Aiyar had once called LeT founder and Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed as 'Saab (sir).'
20:08 (IST)Mani Shankar Aiyar 'neech' comment on Narendra Modi puts BJP on firm footing Just hours ago before the campaigning for the first phase of polling for the Gujarat Assembly concluded on Thursday has senior Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar handed BJP a victory? Modi deftly used Aiyar’s fulminations to effectively turn the tide and position himself along with the OBC, Dalits and tribals. Obviously, Modi’s formulation had the desired impact. Addressing a large gathering at Nilgiri ground in Surat in the last lap of the campaign for the first round of polls, Modi seemed in complete control of the situation. Read the full article here
19:36 (IST)Twitter users react to #NeechAadmi controversy
19:32 (IST)A cartoonist's take on Aiyar's remark As Mani Shankar Aiyar's remark made headlines, twitter erupted in witty retorts. #ManiShankarAiyar and #Neech were the top two trends at the time of writing this update.
19:28 (IST)Ravi Shankar Prasad lauds PM's 'polite', 'sensible' response, says Aiyar has darbari mindset
19:16 (IST)A recap on who said what on the controversy Rahul Gandhi - BJP too uses filthy language but this is not Congress' culture. I expect him to apologise. Narendra Modi - Comment shows their Mughlai mindset. They have called me neech, gadheda, gandi naali ka keeda and what not but let them be. Give them an answer in polls. Mani Shankar Aiyar - Hindi not my first language, I did not know word neech could be interpreted with caste connotations. I apologise for that. Did not mean to refer to PM's caste. Amit Shah - Neither shocked nor surprised at comments shows his party's anti-poor, anti-Dalit, anti-Tribal mindset. This is an insult to entire Gujarat.
19:08 (IST)Neither shocked nor surprised at Aiyar's comments, shows his party's mindset: Amit Shah
19:05 (IST)This insult is Gujarat's insult: Modi "They have called me gadheda (Donkey), gandi naali ka keeda (dirty worm), neechi jaati ka (low born), neech (lowly). This insult is Gujarat's insult or not? But let them keep calling me 'Neech' we will not respond. We do not have this mindset and want to congratulate them for theirs. If anything- we will answer them for their mindset with our votes on 9th and 14th," Modi said.
18:59 (IST)Amit Shah recalls list of jibes taken against PM, says 'we wish them well'
18:56 (IST)Congress strategy to use filthy language against PM, shows there mindset: Arun Jaitkey Senior BJP leader and Union minsiter Arun Jaitley hit out at Aiyar for his personal comments against the prime minister.
18:47 (IST)Lalu Prasad Yadav calls Aiyar 'mentally unfit' Reactions are pouring in hot and fast. Rashtriya Janata Dal leader and a Congress ally, Lalu Prasad Yadav reacted to the controversy and called Mani Shankar Aiyar mentally unfit.
18:37 (IST)A conditional apology from Aiyar "If you ask me if I am sorry for my comments, no. But if you ask me if I regret the way my words were interpreted, absolutely. I certainly am sorry if I have hurt the prime minister I did not mean it in the way it has been interpreted. I was certainly not referring to his caste or his background” Aiyar said in a rather long explanation of his comments.
18:32 (IST)I am a freelance Congressy, a stormy petrel: Mani Shankar Aiyar I am no official spokesperson of the Congress party. Nobody has given me any posts. I am a freelance Congressi and I am a stormy petrel; I haven't even been asked to campaign in Gujarat. I am an ordinary worker of Congrea so why such a uproar over my comment, " Aiyar said.
18:19 (IST)'Hindi not my first language,' Aiyar's defence Mani Shankar Aiyar came out in his defence soon after the controversy took over headlines in national medi. The Congress leader apologised for the 'interpretation of his remarks' rather than the comment itself. Responding to reporters in impeccable Hindi which was tempered with Urdu words, Aiyar said Hindi was not his firs language and hence his knowledge of the language was only limited. He said he was not aware that the word neech could be interpreted in ways more than one. "I have learnt from you guys that neech could have more than one meanings. By neech I certainly did not mean low-born or a person of low origins. I meant lowly politics," Aiyar said.
18:08 (IST)Neech to Neechi Jaati The Indian Polity often exhibits what clever word play can achieve, or, what a sloppily made comment can turn into. Aiyar's personal comment against the prime minister is not expected to die away any time soon.
18:04 (IST)Rahul Gandhi reacts sharply after PM plays up statement, says Congress has different culture Rahul Gandhi has reacted strongly to Aiyar's remark, asking him to apologise. Rahul took to twitter to express his disapproval on the choice of words by Aiyar as he managed to hit out at the BJP in the same tweet.
18:01 (IST)Aiyar's comments show Congress' Mughlai mindset: Modi The prime minister used the opportunity to once again link the Congress party to the Mughal dynasty, another controversy of Aiyar's making. He said the comments exhibited the Cogress party's 'Mughlai Congress.'
17:58 (IST)PM Modi reacts, gives statement good play on last day of campaigning in poll-bound Gujarat The prime minister was quick to react to Sibal's comments. Modi, who was addressing an election rally in poll-bound Gujarat, cleverly turned Aiyar's comment into an electoral opportunity, as he was quick to comment that Aiyar has called him a person from 'neechi jaati'. He asked the Gujaratis to give Congress a befitting reply in the polls. "He called me a person of neechi jati (low-born), a neech (lowly or despicable)," the prime minister said amid uproar in his rally.
17:45 (IST)What exactly did Aiyar say? "Ye aadmi bahut neech kisam ka aadmi hai, is mein koi sabhyata nahi hai, aur aise mauke par is kisam ki gandi rajniti karne ki kya avashyakta hai?" Aiyar said in Hindi. He was responding to questions on Modi's comments on BR Ambedkar on Thursday Morning. During the inauguration of the Ambedkar International Centre in New Delhi, Modi had said, "After his(Ambedkar's) death, a particular family tried to suppress his ideas. His contributions to India were downplayed. But these people could not erase him from people's psyche."
17:40 (IST)Mani Shankar Aiyar stokes fresh controversy ahead of Gujarat polls Congress leader Manishankar Aiyar is at it again. Days after Aiyar courted controversy for invoking Mughal emperors in trying to justify Rahul Gandhi's unopposed elevation to the post of Congress President — a comment he claims was used out of context — he is again at the eye of a storm for calling the prime minister a "neech admi (a despicable man)." While the Congress leader has issued a (conditional) lengthy apology, it has definitely stoked a controversy, perhaps to the BJP's advantage.
Congress leader Manishankar Aiyar is at it again. Days after Aiyar courted controversy for invoking Mughal emperors in trying to justify Rahul Gandhi's unopposed elevation to the post of Congress President — a comment he claims was used out of context — he is again at the eye of a storm for calling the prime minister a "neech admi (a despicable man)."
However, this time around the senior Congress leader may find himself in trouble, the Congress party's President-in-waiting has reacted strongly to Aiyar's remark, asking him to apologise.
Rahul took to twitter to express his disapproval on the choice of words by Aiyar as he managed to hit out at the BJP in the same tweet.
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.
— Office of RG (@OfficeOfRG) December 7, 2017
Meanwhile, Aiyar, in a lengthy Hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a veiled attack on the Congress, accusing the party of suppressing Babasaheb Ambedkar's ideas and contribution in the nation building, senior Aiyar accused Modi of playing dirty politics in the name of the Dalit leader, in questionable language.
#WATCH: "Ye aadmi bahut neech kisam ka aadmi hai, is mein koi sabhyata nahi hai, aur aise mauke par is kisam ki gandi rajniti karne ki kya avashyakta hai?: Congress' Mani Shankar Aiyar on PM Modi pic.twitter.com/sNXeo6a1Gi — ANI (@ANI) December 7, 2017
Talking to ANI, the senior Congress leader said, "I think one person who contributed the most toward Babasaheb Ambedkar's dream(of nation-building), was Jawaharlal Nehru, and the way Modi is talking about his contribution is condemnable at the such an occasion. I think he (Modi) is a despicable and uncultured person. Why does he need to play dirty politics on such occasion?" Modi, who was addressing an election rally in poll-bound Gujarat, was quick to respond to these comments and said that the people of Gujarat will give the Congress a befitting answer. "This shows nothing but their Mughlai mindset," Modi said. "What all have they called us- donkeys, neech, gandi naali ke keede... the people of Gujarat will give a fitting answer to such deplorable language," Modi said.
Congress leaders are speaking in a language that is not acceptable in 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 Mughalai Mindset: PM pic.twitter.com/9IvKewDPMw — ANI (@ANI) December 7, 2017
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? Then why are they calling me 'Neech'?: PM Modi in Surat #GujaratElection2017 pic.twitter.com/Aba3QwDcAz — ANI (@ANI) December 7, 2017
This is not the first time, the senior Congress leader has attracted controversy over his remarks. When Rahul filed his nomination for the post of Congress president, several BJP leaders dubbed the election as 'rigged' and termed his elevation a coronation. The BJP also accused the Congress party of upholding the dynasty politics. Hitting back at BJP leaders, Aiyar had said, “When Shah Jahan came in the place of Jahangir did any election happen? And when Aurangzeb came in place of Shah Jahan did any election happen? It was known to everyone that the throne of the king will automatically go to the heir.", reported CNN-News 18. The report further added that Modi latched on to Aiyar's remarks and had said that the Congress loyalist was proud of his party's 'Aurangzebi Raj (dynastic traditions). In 2014, when Modi was elected as prime minister, Aiyar had made scathing remarks on him by mocking Modi's ambitions and had said that a place will be identified for the Gujarat chief minister to distribute tea. He was quoted by PTI as saying, "I promise you in 21st Century Narendra Modi will never become the Prime Minister of the country...But if he wants to distribute tea here, we will find a place for him." With inputs from agencies