The BJP and Congress are locked in an intense battle for Gujarat, Modi’s home state, where the BJP has been in power for 22 years.
On Thursday, Aiyar called Modi a “neech aadmi” who does “dirty politics” after the PM targeted the Congress. The Congress has suspended Aiyar from the primary membership of the party and issued him a show-cause notice for his remark.
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’.
“The strength of India’s democracy will be displayed when a person of humble background politically defeats the dynasty and its representatives,” the finance minister said in a tweet.
Reacting to Aiyar remarks Modi said “Isn’t it an insult to Gujarati asmita (pride)? Isn’t it an insult of Indian ethos? They can call me ‘neech jaati’. Yes, I am from the poor section of the society and will spend every moment of my life to work for the poor, Dalits, tribals and backward classes,” at an election rally in Surat.
Earlier, Aiyar claimed that it was the country’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru who recognised Ambedkar’s potential.
“What is the need for doing dirty politics on such an occasion?” he asked after the prime minister attacked the Congress while inaugurating the Ambedkar International Centre that was conceived 23 years ago.
Aiyar remark came after his “chai wallah” jibe, also aimed at Modi ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, and Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s “maut ka saudagar” (merchant of death) comment dating back to 2007, also targeting Modi.
The Congress rushed into damage control mode and Aiyar apologised after being chastised by party vice president Rahul Gandhi.
Congress party’s chief spokesman Randeep Singh Surjewala tweeted that the party had issued a showcause notice to Aiyar and suspended him from the primary membership. “This is Congress party’s Gandhiwaad and sense of respect towards its rivals. Can Modiji (Prime Minister Narendra Modi) ever show such conviction?” he posted on the micro-blogging site.