New Delhi, Dec 26: One person who has been severely affected by the recently held Gujarat Assembly elections is undoubtedly now-suspended Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar.
Aiyar called Prime Minister Narendra Modi ‘neech aadmi’ (man of low birth and upbringing) just a few days before the Gujarat polls. His ‘neech’ remark has been cited by politicians, experts and the media as the main reason behind Congress’ defeat in the Gujarat elections.
Immediately after Aiyar made the comment, PM Modi during a poll rally told the crowd that the ‘neech’ remark of Aiyar exposes the feudal mentality of the Congress. Modi alleged that Aiyar by calling him ‘ neech’ attacked his caste and humble upbringing and it is an insult to Gujarat and Gujarati people.
The political chaos over the controversial remark was enough for the Congress to suspend the veteran politician.
Days after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won the Gujarat elections; Aiyar is still trying to convince the world that his remark was taken out of context because of his poor Hindi.
In the Gujarat polls, the BJP won 99 seats and the Congress bagged 77 in the 182-member Legislative Assembly.
In a column for NDTV, aptly titled, Whoever won in Gujarat, I lost, Aiyar wrote, ‘Dr Farooq Abdullah is of the opinion that it was my ‘neech’ remark that cost the Congress Gujarat.
‘It is a view widely shared among commentators in politics, the media, the general public–and my party. I squirm, of course, at the thought that I should have brought down the party that has given me so much. I particularly regret having dashed the cup from my friend’s (Rajiv Gandhi’s) son’s (Rahul Gandhi’s) lips just as triumph was around the corner.’
In the column, Aiyar admitted (once again) that his Hindi is not as good as his English, the sole language in which he has always been ‘thinking, conversing, writing, reading and penning lengthy reports ‘.
Although the former diplomat-turned-politician did not accuse Modi of twisting his ‘neech’ remark, but allege that the PM added an ‘utterly untrue noun’ to his ‘inappropriate adjective’.
‘In my mind, however, the question will always reverberate: was it my ‘inappropriate adjective’ or Modi’s mendacity in adding an utterly untrue noun–‘jaati’–to my adjective that lost us (the Congress) this handful of seats?’ Aiyar asked.
While ending the column, the suspended Congress leader raised the question whether he should sue Modi or not?
‘And, tell me, should I sue the Prime Minister for slander, libel, defamation–or all three?’ Aiyar asked.