New Delhi, Dec 7: The Congress on Thursday suspended senior leader Mani Shankar Aiyar from its primary membership following his ‘neech’ remark against Prime Minister Narendra Modi. According to reports, the party also issued a show-cause notice to Aiyar. This move comes after Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi tweeted condemning his words and asked him to apologise for the remarks.

Senior Congress leader Aiyar on Thursday called PM Modi ‘neech’ (low) for critiquing the Congress even while inaugurating Ambedkar International Center at New Delhi. This immediately received backlash from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and other sections for refering to the PM in such terms.

As the situation got out of control, Rahul Gandhi tweeted condemning the remarks and said although the BJP and the PM use derogatory terms for the Congress and its members, it is not the party’s way to use similar language even for its opponents. This they termed as their ‘Gandhian’ principle.

Rahul Gandhi said, “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.”

Noteworthy that earlier today, Aiyar had said he is a ‘freelance Congress’ member. Later, he issued an apology calling it a case of intention lost in translation. Blaming that Hindi is not his official language, the Congress leader said he wished to convey Modi’s language as low-standard and not refer to him as ‘low-born’. He said, if ‘neech’ has any other connotations, he is sorry for using the term.

Soon after Aiyar’s ‘neech’ remark, Prime Minister Modi who was addressing a rally in poll-bound Gujarat used it for his advantage and said he might belong to a low-class family, but does that make his thoughts lowly as well. He further said, Congress will get the answer for making such a remark against ‘the son of Gujarat’ in the upcoming polls.

Attack on Aiyar continued from all sections, with Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav calling him mentally unfit.

The BJP also criticised the Congress for its ‘darbari’ mentality and being insensitive to those belonging to the lower strata of the society.