The Congress Tuesday condemned the remarks of its leader Mani Shankar Aiyar on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and said appropriate action would be taken against him, even as it accused the PM of lowering the political discourse by using "abusive" language against his rivals. Aiyar was back in the news on Tuesday with an article justifying his "neech" jibe against Modi two years ago, prompting the BJP to call him "abuser-in-chief" and his party arrogant. Aiyar also called Modi the most "foul-mouthed" prime minister the country has seen.
"We completely reject and condemn the remark of the likes of Mani Shankar Aiyar and every other person who is violating the time-tested principle of self-discipline in political discourse of mutual respect and adherence of ideas and ideology and not to verbal abuse while fighting an election," Congress' chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said. "To give due regard even to your worst political enemy as was shown by (Congress president) Rahul Gandhi on the floor of Parliament. And, the BJP and Modiji gives sermons to us on political discourse," he said. On action against Aiyar, Surjewala said, "We shall at the appropriate forum in the party, will definitely look at it and take appropriate action".
Aiyar was in 2017 suspended from the party when he made the "neech aadmi" remark against Modi ahead of the Gujarat assembly election, but was reinstated later. Reacting to Aiyar's remarks at a press conference, Surjewala alleged that hatred, violence and abuse is the modus operandi of the BJP and not of the Congress.
"We have seen how in the last five years, including in the current election, rage and revenge has blinded Narendra Modi in using completely unacceptable, downright insulting, abusive language for his political opponents," he said. The "truth" is that Modi has seriously lowered the prestige of the office of the prime minister in independent India by his choice of words, anger, uncontrollable rage, and by his quest to seek revenge against every opposition leader, particularly Rahul Gandhi and his family, he claimed.
Surjewala also said the Congress would like to seek answers from Modi on the "abuses and insults" to the memory of Jawaharlal Nehru and Rajiv Gandhi every other day. Is the prime minister following a respectable political discourse, he asked.
"When the prime minister uses insulting remarks for (UPA chairperson) Sonia Gandhi in election rallies is that the 'maryada' (decorum) that is followed in our Indian political discourses," he said. Surjewala accused Modi of lowering the political discourse by describing someone as "a 50-crore girlfriend".
He also hit out at Modi for promoting leaders who abused opposition leaders even describing them as 'Chenghiz Khan ki aulad'. "The truth is that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will go down in history as the only PM who decimated, denigrated and annihilated the prestige of the office of the prime minister he holds, who violated every article of restraint and mutual respect written in the civilization of the country, who chooses verbal abuse as a weapon to silence his critics when he has no answer on jobs on agrarian distress and on a failed economy," he said.
Earlier in the day, Congress spokesperson Jaiveer Shergill said his party is not on the back foot regarding Aiyar's remarks. Instead, it should be Modi who should be ashamed for his remarks on former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi, he said. "Mani Shankar Aiyar's remarks are his own as stated by him in his article. His remarks are not shameful and the Congress is neither on the back foot nor ashamed of his remarks. It's the PM who should be ashamed for lowering the dignity of the office he occupies by making disparaging remarks against former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi and former Congress president Sonia Gandhi.
"The PM should apologise to the country for the abusive language that he has used," Shergill said, referring to Modi recently saying Rajiv Gandhi's life ended as 'Bhrashtachari No 1' (corrupt number 1). Shergill said more than Aiyar, the media should question Modi and he should apologise for downgrading the system for using a lowly language and inflicting low blows.
"The prime minister is paranoid. Prime minister is in electoral depression. His abusive remarks, lowly remarks not befitting the post of the Prime Minister reflect the defeat which he is going to face on 23 May, 2019," he said.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)