Didn't mean 'low-born' when I said 'neech', clarifies Aiyar

ANI | Updated: Dec 07, 2017 19:37 IST

New Delhi [India], Dec 7 (ANI): Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar on Thursday said the word 'neech' holds different meanings and added he would want to apologise for the wrong translation.

His clarification has come after he sparked a controversy by calling Prime Minister Narendra Modi a 'neech aadmi'.

Speaking to the media here, Aiyar said, "I meant a low-minded person when I said 'neech'. I tend to think in English when I speak in Hindi as Hindi is not my mother tongue. I never meant low-born. In English, there is a clear distinction between 'low' and 'low-born'. So if it has some other meaning or it means 'low-born' only, then I apologise for the wrong translation. The word I used has different meanings and the meaning Prime Minister Modi is making out is not what I meant."

"Why was the Prime Minister taking a jibe at Congress and Rahul Gandhi at the inauguration of a centre on Babasaheb Ambedkar? Everyday Prime Minister Modi is using foul language against our leaders. I am a freelance Congressman, I hold no post in the party. I can reply to the Prime Minister in his language," he added.

Meanwhile, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi took to Twitter saying, "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."

The political slugfest between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress Party reached a new low when Mani Shankar Aiyar, earlier in the day, referred to Prime Minister Modi as a "neech aadmi" for appropriating Babasaheb Ambedkar into his election campaign for the imminent assembly polls in Gujarat.

Aiyar, while talking to ANI, said it was the first prime minister of India, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, who turned Dr Ambedkar's wish into reality and it was not correct to badmouth the Nehru-Gandhi family.

"This person is a 'neech aadmi' (low-minded). He is not civilised and in a situation like this, there is no need to practise such dirty politics," Aiyar said.

This is not the first time Aiyar has made a derogatory remark about the prime minister.

He had, in January 2014, before the Modi-wave took the nation by surprise, said "Modi would never become prime minister, but he was welcome to serve tea to Congressmen."

The BJP had then turned the Congress leader's attack into a campaign asset - "chai pe charcha".

To this end, Aiyar said he had never called the prime minister a 'Chaiwala', adding, "You can go on the internet and check all the videos." (ANI)