Chennai : Senior Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar on Monday remained unrepentant over his “tea vendor” jibe against BJP Prime Ministerial candidate and insisted that he had not taken any personal dig at the Gujarat Chief Minister.
“I did not take any personal dig at Modi. In fact it was Modi who had started the fashion of passing of making personal attacks on others,” he told journalists during a visit to his hometown Mayiladuthurai.
Asked about the BJP’s retaliation that Modi was only selling tea unlike the Congress which was selling the entire nation, Aiyar responded: “We would sell the nation for the people but we will certainly not sell the nation to Modi.”
He disagreed with projecting Modi as a Prime Ministerial candidate and said that the BJP leader did not understand the Indian Parliamentary system or the country’s economics as such straight contests are facilitated only in the Presidential system as in
At last week’s AICC conclave in New Delhi, Aiyar had hit out against Modi saying he would never become Prime Minister but was free to distribute tea at the Congress office.
The reference was to Modi’s early beginnings as a tea vendor before he rose up the political ladder. Aiyar’s remarks had evoked sharp reactions from BJP cadres who stoned his office at his home town in Mayiladuthurai in coastal Nagapattinam district on Saturday.
Besides, BJP functionaries had opened “mobile Modi tea stalls” and put up posters inviting Aiyar to join the tea shop.