Surat: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday lambasted Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar for using the word "neech aadmi" (vile man) for him, claiming he was targeted over his caste.
Modi, who was addressing an election rally here, said Aiyar's comments were an "insult" to Gujarat.
"Shriman (Mr) Mani Shankar Aiyar today said that Modi is of 'neech' (lower) caste and is 'neech' (vile). Is this not an insult to Gujarat? This is a Mughal mentality where if such a person (who comes from a humble background) wears good clothes in a village, they have a problem," Modi said.
Aiyar on Thursday kicked up a row when he called Modi a "neech" (vile man) after the prime minister, while inaugurating the Ambedkar International Centre in New Delhi, hit out at the Congress, saying parties seeking votes in Ambedkar's name tried to erase his contribution to nation building.
"He (Modi) is 'neech kism ka aadmi' (a vile man) who has no 'sabhyata' (civility)," he said, attacking Modi after the latter accused the Congress of seeking votes in Ambedkar's name but trying to erase his contribution to building India.
The prime minister also accused the Congress leadership of having a "Mughal" mindset.
Congress leaders have a problem if someone like him (Modi) wears good clothes, the prime minister said, in an apparent reference to Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi's "suit-boot ki sarkar" jibe in the past.
"You have seen me as chief minister for 14 years and then as prime minister. Have I done any work which has made you look down (in shame)? Have I done any 'neech' work?" Modi asked the gathering.
The Prime Minister also requested BJP workers and supporters not to respond to Aiyar's remark. "Please do not respond to the remark even on Twitter," he said....