New Delhi, Dec 7: The Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar on Thursday stoked a controversy, days ahead of the first phase of the Gujarat Assembly Elections 2017, by calling Prime Minister Narendra Modi a ‘neech aadmi’ and accusing him of playing ‘dirty politics’. Mujhko lagta hai ki ye aadmi bahut neech kisam ka aadmi hai, isme koi sabhyata nahi hai, or aise mauke par is kisam ki gandi rajniti karne ki kya avashyakta hai?” (This man is a low-life person. He has no culture, stantard. What was the need to practise such dirty politics?),” Aiyar said.

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In response, PM Modi, while addressing an elections rally in Surat, asked the people of Gujarat to respond to Aiyar’s remark through ballot. “Yes, they called me “neech” but our value systems are strong. We have nothing to say to such elements. Our answer will come through the ballot box. We have seen enough insults from them. They insulted me when I was CM. They called me “maut ka saudagar” and wanted to jail me,” Modi said.

Aiyar’s statement was widely condemned by the politicians across India. On one hand, PM Modi said , “Let them keep calling me ‘neech’ we will not respond” and on the other Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi said, “I and Congress expect Aiyar to apologise’.

Here are how other politicians reacted to Mani Shankar Aiyar’s statement:

Soon after, Aiyar’s statement, PM slammed him while addressing a rally in Surat.

The Congress member’s statement was condemned by Congress V-P Rahul Gandhi as well.

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley also attacked Aiyar for taking a dig at the PM.

BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad, while condemning Aiyar for his statement against PM Modi, termed the Congress leader’s mindset as a ‘darbaari’ one.

As Aiyar started receiving flak for his statement, he again came in front of the media and clarified.

Meanwhile, this is what Lalu Prasad, the chief of Rashtriya Janata Party (RJD), said:

The voting for the two-phased Gujarat Assembly elections 2017 will be held on December 9 and 14. The counting of votes and the results will be announced on December 18.