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

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Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar was suspended from primary membership of Congress Party and issued him a showcause notice on Thursday.

Expressing his thoughts on Twitter, Gandhi said that it is not the Congress party's culture to use such language against political opponents.

The senior Congressman questioned why the PM was taking a jibe at Congress and Rahul Gandhi at inauguration of a Centre on Baba Saheb Ambedkar referring to Modi's comment during the event that parties seeking votes in Ambedkar's name tried to erase his contribution to nation building.

He said he was not surprised at Aiyar's derogatory comment against Modi, as it had been the culture of the Congress. I do not appreciate the tone and language used by Mr Mani Shankar Aiyar to address the PM. "Both the Congress and I expect him to apologise for what he said", Gandhi tweeted.

Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, on behalf of the ruling BJP, held a press conference to attack the Congress over Aiyar's comment.

In January 2014, ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, Aiyar had dismissed Modi - the BJP's prime ministerial candidate - as "chaiwalla".

Reacting to Aiyar's remark, Congress President-to-be Rahul Gandhi on Thursday asked the senior leader to apologise for what he had said.

"I never meant "low born". Have I done any "neech" work?"

Aiyar claimed that it was the country's first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru who recognized Ambedkar's potential. "It is an insult to poor people of India and Gujarat". "The word I used has different meanings and the meaning Prime Minister Modi is making out is not what I meant".

"I don't think he is low born but his language is very, I'll say in English, is very low language. Then why are they calling me Neech?". Modi further reminded the people of what has been said earlier by Congress and its allies. Modi said the sort of language that the Congress leaders were using was "unacceptable" in democracy and was a result of "dynastic mentality". Aiyar's mindset is a "darbaari" one'. The prime minister also accused the Congress leadership of having a "Mughal" mindset.

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