With the Congress on the backfoot after Mani Shankar Aiyar's "Neech" remark against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Rajya Sabha MP Amar Singh on Friday recalled an incident when he had a tiff with the veteran Congress leader.
On Thursday, Aiyar had called PM 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.
Singh, a close aide of Mulayam Singh Yadav, told news agency ANI that Aiyar has insulted many politicians in the past including, former Tamil Nadu chief minister Jayalalitha and Union Minister Uma Bharti.
The Mulayam aide said that some years back, under the influence of alcohol, Aiyar got into an argument with him which Amar Singh described as "etihaisik jhadap" (Historic tiff).
Amar Singh recalls an incident
"Gujral saab (Satish Gujral, brother of former PM IK Gujral) ke niwaas par ek bhoj tha; madyapaan karke, nashe mein choor madmast aadhe ghante itni kroor baatein wo kar rahe the ki humari aur unki ek etihaisik jhadap hui. (Once there was dinner at Satish Gujaral's house, after consuming alcohol he was saying such things that i had a historic argument with him)," Singh said.
"Aur us jhadap ne poore rashtra mein itni prasiddhi paayi ki jab Mani Shankar Aiyar sansad ke praangan mein kisi ko beizzat karne khade hote the toh BJP ke sadasya kehte the 'Mani beth ja nahin to Amar Singh aajayga' (That tiff became famouse across the country. After that whenever Mani Shankar Aiyar used to stand up in Parliament to criticise anyone, BJP leaders used to say 'Sit down Mani or else Amar Singh will come)," he added.
Aiyar drew flak for calling Modi 'Neech'
Aiyar called Modi a "neech aadmi" (a vile man), who did "dirty politics", kicking up a row on the last day of campaigning for the first phase of the Gujarat assembly polls.
The Congress rushed into damage control mode and Aiyar apologised after being chastised by party vice president Rahul Gandhi.
Modi hits back
"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," Modi said at an election rally in Surat.
This is not the first time that Aiyar has embarrassed the Congress. In the run-up to the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, he had made a 'chai wala' jibe at Modi. Analysts believe that these statements had helped the BJP a great deal. In fact, some persons on the social media even went on to call Aiyar a mole of the BJP.