After calling Modi a ‘neech kisam ka aadmi’ (someone with a low level of thinking), the Congress suspended Mani Shankar Aiyar from its primary membership. Aiyar who was once a Rajiv Gandhi confidant, and Union Minister in the UPA-I government, was debarred by the party in quest of minimizing damage. However, it was not the first time that Aiyar’s controversial comments have snaffled media attention.
Recently Aiyar rubbed Rahul Gandhi and the Congress, the wrong way when he indirectly called Rahul Gandhi, Aurangzeb.“When Shah Jahan came in the place of Jahangir did any election happen? And when Aurangzeb came in place of Shah Jahan did any election happen? It was known to everyone that the throne of the king will automatically go to the heir,” Aiyer told ABP News.
However, Aiyar also fell prey to biased reporting, as his interview was only partly shown. “But in a democracy, elections are held. I openly invite Shehzad Poonawala to file the nomination and contest the election,” he had added, which was never aired on the channel.
Modi, the master of political rebuttal took millage out of Aiyar’s statement. While addressing a rally in Gujarat he said, “Congress accepts it’s a family party? We don’t want this Aurangzeb rule. I congratulate the Congress on their ‘Aurangzeb Raj.’ For us, the well-being of the people matters and 125 crore Indians are our high command,” while highlighting the lack of intra-party democracy in the Congress.
During the campaign of the 2014 Loksabha elections Mani Shankar did a self-goal when he brought to light, the humble background of Modi. “I promise you that in the 21st Century, Narendra Modi will never become the PM of India. But if he wants to distribute tea here, we will certainly find a place for him,” Aiyar had said after the meeting of the All India Congress Committee.
The way Modi took advantage of this comment and turned the tide in his favour is widely known. The BJP went on to run a successful series of ‘Chai pe Charcha’ garnering the attention of voters.
Mani Shankar Aiyar is widely known for his ‘sympathetic’ feelings for Pakistan. Aiyar who was born in Lahore, in British India has stoked several controversies through his Pakistan-philiac statements.
Once in a TV interview on a Pakistani channel, Duniya TV when the anchor asked him about what was needed to be done to end the stalemate in the relations between the two nations, Aiyar responded, “The first and the foremost thing is to remove Modi. Only then can the talks move forward. We have to wait for four more years. They (panelists) are all optimist and that we can move forward when Modi sahab is there, but I don’t think so.” He further said, “Bring us (the Congress) back to power and remove them. There is no other way (to better the relations). We will remove them, but till then you (Pakistan) have to wait.”
From calling Modi a chaiwala to comparing the Congress president election to a hereditary monarchy, this is how Aiyar’s comments certainly ruffled a few feathers.