Aiyar's 'neech' remark, aggressive BJP and Rahul Gandhi's master stroke

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Led by party vice president Rahul Gandhi, Congress was giving a neck to neck fight to BJP for the first time in last 22 years in Gujarat.

Aiyar was suspended from the primary membership of the Congress party for calling PM Modi "neech", a remark he apologised for after reprimand by Rahul Gandhi.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is apparently not in the mood to let the Congress wriggle out of the controversy over veteran politician Mani Shankar Aiyar's jibe against Prime Minister Narendra Modi as it has termed action against the former Union Minister a "strategic suspension". When the anchor of a Pakistani channel asked what is to be done to end the stalemate in the relations between the two nations, Aiyar responded, "The first and the foremost thing is to remove Modi". I do not appreciate the tone and language used by Mr Mani Shankar Aiyer to address the PM. "They can keep their language we will do our work".

Reacting to Aiyar's remark, Jaitley said the Congress party has challenged the weaker and backward sections of India by calling the prime minister "neech".

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Modi was quick enough to say that the people of Gujarat will answer Aiyar when they vote for assembly elections on December 9 and 14.

He further said, "Bring us (the Congress) back to power and remove them". "If the Congress suffers any damage in the Gujarat polls because of my comments, then whatever punishment the party deems fit I will accept it", he said on the sidelines of an India-Pakistan seminar here.

Learning from the political damage in 2014 Lok Sabha election cause by personal attacks against PM Modi, Rahul Gandhi had given clear guidelines to Gujarat Congress leaders not to resort to attacking Modi personally. He had called PM Modi "neech" and after being admonished by Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi, clarified that he may have misspoken as Hindi was not his mother tongue. "Both the Congress and I expect him to apologise for what he said", he tweeted. No one in the Congress can use demeaning language against the PM.

"While many appreciated Congress" rather swift decision to suspend Aiyar, Jaitley took to Twitter and said it was could be part of a larger strategy.

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