Modi tears into Aiyar again while Rahul attempts damage control

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"It is the last big state that Congress rules and defeating them there will go a long way to achieve Congress-Mukt Bharat target of PM Modi", said BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra.

Pointing out remarks made by other BJP leaders, the Congress leader cited objectionable remark by Tarun Vijay about south Indians and V.K. Singh equating a Dalit child with a dog in Ghaziabad.

Mani Shankar Aiyar's "neech" remark has truly left the Congress cornered as it seems to have given the BJP's attacks a clear direction a day before first phase of voting in Gujarat.

Finance minister Arun Jaitley has termed Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar's "neech" remark against Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a "deliberate casteist statement", adding that his suspension from the party was "strategic" and urged people to see through "this game".

"Congress party respects the post of Prime Minister".

Rahul Gandhi had yesterday asked Aiyar to apologise to Modi as he does not "appreciate the tone and language" used by his senior party colleague. "And what is my crime - that we have the blessings of the people".

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"Mr. Aiyar has been a key part of BJP's election campaigning since 2014 and we hope he continues to work with us in the future as well".

During a panel discussion on Pakistan news channel Duniya TV in 2015, Aiyar had said Prime Minister Narendra Modi needs to be removed if talks between the two nations have to resume. He just has to say something similar to his Chaiwala comment or this Neech Aadmi thing and we will take it from there.

Aiyar apologised again on Friday, this time to the Congress party, saying he is ready to "accept any punishment" if any damage has been done to the party.

Later the suspended leader clarified and said that he was sorry if he had hurt anyone. All that Rahul Gandhi can now do is to minimise the damage that Aiyar's remark has caused.

"He (PM Modi) is "neech kism ka aadmi" (a vile man) who has no "sabhyata" (civility)", he said, attacking PM Modi after the latter accused the Congress of seeking votes in Ambedkar's name but trying to erase his contribution to building India.

"I never meant low-born".

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