Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday lashed out at Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar for calling him a 'neech aadmi' and termed such remarks from the party as reeking of their 'Mughlai mindset'.
Speaking at a public rally here, the prime minister said, "The Congress leaders are speaking in a language that is not acceptable in a democracy. One Congress leader, who has studied in the best institutions, served as a diplomat and was a cabinet minister, he has called me 'neech' (low-life). This is insulting and is nothing but Mughlai mindset."
He added the people of Gujarat would give a fitting answer to such deplorable language.
"They can call me 'neech'- Yes, I am from the poor section of society and will spend every moment of my life to work for the poor, Dalits, tribals and the OBC communities. What all have they called us - donkeys, Neech, Gandi Naali Ke Keede; they can keep their language and we will do our work," Prime Minister Modi further said.
He added, "Have I done any shameful thing? Then why are they calling me 'neech'? I beg to the people of India to let them be. Let them keep calling me 'neech', we will not respond. We do not have this mindset and want to congratulate them for theirs. If anything, we will answer them for their mindset by our votes on December 9 and 14."
"We have nothing to say to such elements. Our answer will come through the ballot box. We have seen enough insults from them. They insulted me when I was the chief minister. They called me 'Maut Ka Saudagar' and wanted to jail me."
The political slugfest between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress Party reached a new low when Mani Shankar Aiyar, earlier in the day, referred to Prime Minister Modi as a "neech aadmi" for appropriating Babasaheb Ambedkar into his election campaign for the imminent assembly polls in Gujarat.
Aiyar, while talking to ANI, said it was the first prime minister of India, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, who turned Dr Ambedkar's wish into reality and it was not correct to badmouth the Nehru-Gandhi family.
"This person is a 'neech aadmi' (low-minded). He is not civilised and in a situation like this, there is no need to practise such dirty politics," Aiyar said.
In the run up to the Gujarat polls, the BJP has been appropriating Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar to accuse the Congress Party of meting out an unjust treatment to legends like them.
Earlier yesterday, Prime Minister Modi said the Nehru-Gandhi family did the greatest injustice to Babasaheb Ambedkar and Sardar Patel.
The prime minister said the injustice with Ambedkar was done when Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru enjoyed full influence over the Congress Party.
He today again took a jibe at the Opposition, saying that the political parties who asked for votes in the name of Dr B. R. Ambedkar have lately turned into "Shiv bhakts".
This is not the first time Aiyar has made a derogatory remark about the prime minister.
He had, in January 2014, before the Modi-wave took the nation by surprise, said "Modi would never become prime minister, but he was welcome to serve tea to Congressmen."
The BJP had then turned the Congress leader's attack into a campaign asset - "chai pe charcha".