New Delhi: Senior Congress leader and a known Gandhi loyalist, Mr Mani Shankar Aiyar, ran out of luck on Thursday as the party suspended him for calling Prime Minister, Mr Narendra Modi a “neech aadmi” (vile man) who does “dirty politics”. He has also been served a show cause notice. Mr Aiyar’s remark not only rattled the Congress but also gave BJP a stick to beat its rival before the crucial Gujarat polls. Mr Modi who seemed to be fighting his toughest battle in Gujarat indicated that Aiyar’s remark would now provide BJP a major electoral advantage.
Speaking in Surat, Mr Modi maintained that while he had nothing to say on a “wise” Congress leader calling him ‘neech’, he hinted that this could just be the winning card. “They have their language and we have our work. People will answer them through the ballot box,” Mr Modi said. The development came on a day when a vituperative campaign for the first phase of the crucial Gujarat Assembly polls that saw emotive issues of religion and caste competing with that of development as the main rivals, BJP and Congress, launched no-holds-barred attacks on each other ended on Thursday evening.
Sensing that this could just be the ‘chaiwala’ moment for the BJP, Congress vice-president, Rahul Gandhi decided to act swiftly and removed Mr Aiyar from the primary membership of the party and issued a show cause notice. However, it just could be a wee bit late for the Congress to rein in Mr Aiyar as yet again before a crucial poll, he handed over a major advantage to the BJP. His description of Mr Modi as a ‘chaiwala’ played a crucial role in making the Prime Minister closer to the “poor and ordinary” people in the country.