Mani had said that Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi will never become prime minister, but he can sell tea at AICC meet, referring to Modi's humble beginnings as a tea vendor at Ahmedabad railway station.
"I promise you in 21st century Narendra Modi will never become the Prime Minister of the country. ...But if he wants to distribute tea here, we will find a place for him," Aiyar said at the venue of the AICC meeting.
Aiyar's remarks come against the backdrop of Modi's reference to his own socio-economic background and humble origins at rallies while targeting the Gandhi-Nehru family.
Modi has said that people who are ruling at the Centre "don't know what poverty is all about, but I know it."
The Gujarat chief minister has said that he was born in a poor family, and have seen and lived in poverty.
"I have sold tea at the railway station and in running trains ...those selling tea in trains know more about railways than the minister," Modi had said at a rally in Patna.
When he was six years old, Modi helped his father sell tea to passengers whenever an odd train came into the small Vadnagar station in Gujarat, according to a book titled "The anatomy of Narendra Modi - the man and his politics" authored by Nilanjan Mukhopadhyay.
Earlier Samajwadi Party leader Naresh Agarwal had also made similar remarks against Modi, saying that a person who used to sell tea cannot have a national perspective.
"Narendra Modi wants to become a PM. Someone rising from a tea shop can never have a national perspective. Like, if you make a 'sipahi' (constable) as 'kaptan' (Superintendent of Police), he can never have SP's approach but will have that of a constable," Agarwal had said in Hardoi in Uttar Pradesh.
(With PTI inputs)