New Delhi, Dec 7: Less than an hour after veteran Congress leader Mani Shankar called him a “neech aadmi”, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tore into the main Opposition party and said he will continue to work for the poor and downtrodden sections of the society. Addressing an election rally in Surat on the last of campaigning for the first phase of Gujarat Assembly elections 2017, Modi asked people of the state to respond to Mani Shankar 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.

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“They can call me ‘neech’- Yes, I am from the poor section of society and will spend every moment of my life to work for the poor, Dalits, Tribals and OBC communities. They can keep their language we will do our work. Let them keep calling me ‘neech’ we will not respond. In our hearts we do not have this mindset and want to congratulate them for theirs. If anything- we will answer them for their mindset by our votes on 9th and 14th (of December),” he added.  (Also Read: Rahul Gandhi Wants Mani Shankar Aiyar to Apologise For ‘Neech’ Remark Against PM Modi)

Earlier in the day, Mani Shankar Aiyar stoked a fresh controversy making yet another personal remark against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Accusing PM Modi of playing “dirty politics”, Aiyar called him a “neech aadmi”. 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 “neech” (low standard). He has no culture, standard. What was the need to practice such dirty politics?),” Aiyar said referring to PM Modi’s taunt targeting Rahul Gandhi in the morning.

While inaugurating the Ambedkar International Centre in the national capital, PM Modi had mocked Rahul Gandh over his comment that he was a Shiv bhakt (devotee) and said some parties talked more of Baba Bhole (Lord Shiva) than Babasaheb. (Also Read: Rahul Gandhi Says His Family is Devotee of Lord Shiva, Blames BJP For Somnath Temple Controversy)

“Jo rajnaetik dal Babasaheb ka naam leke vote maangte hain, unhe to shayad ye pata bhi nahin hoga. Khair unhe aaj kal Baba Saheb nahin, Baba bholey zara zyada yaad aa rahe hain (The parties which ask for votes in the name of Babasaheb, they don’t know…. Well these days not Baba Saheb, they are seeing Baba Bholey more),” Modi said.