New Delhi, Aug 11: Former Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar, known for critical remarks against Narendra Modi, has fired a fresh salvo at the Indian Prime Minister. Speaking an event, Aiyar said the ascent Modi at the helm of Indian polity in 2014 dealt a major blow to the secular foundations of the nation.
Aiyar said he was shocked when the electorate gave the Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party a mandate in the last general elections, despite the party's "blatant communal" views.
The former union minister said he did not expect Modi to become the nation's most favourable choice for the prime ministerial post after the latter had used a "puppy analogy" while speaking about the Muslim victims of post-Godhra 2002 riots.
Maine socha ki jis aadmi ne aisa kaha,jo 24 din Musalamanon ke refugee camp mein nahi gaya aur Ahmedabad Masjid uss din pahucha jab PM Vajpayee aaye aur unke saath jaana majbooran tha... socha hi nahi tha ki aisa ek vyakti desh ka pradhanmantri ban sakta hai: Mani Shankar Aiyar pic.twitter.com/Eo7BaHHOeW
— ANI (@ANI) August 11, 2018
"I never expected that a person who considers Muslims as puppies -- when he is asked about the killing of Muslims in 2002, he said it hurts even if a puppy gets mowed down under the car. I thought that a person who has said so will never be elected as the Prime Minister of India," Aiyar said.
He further claimed that Modi, as the Chief Minister of Gujarat in 2002, never visited any refugee camps where Muslims were sheltered. "After 24 days, he went to Ahmedabad Masjid. That was his obligation as he had to accompany (then PM Atal Bihari) Vajpayee," Aiyar added.
Notably, Aiyar was expelled from the Congress in November last year, ahead of the 2017 Gujarat assembly elections. The 77-year-old had called Modi a "neech aadmi", which was objected to by the BJP as a casteist slur. In a bid to avert flak, the Congress not only distanced away from his remark, but also terminated his primary membership from the party.