New Delhi, Dec 7 (PTI) The BJP today refuted Mani Shankar Aiyar's claim that he held no post in the Congress as its leaders referred to his appointment in the "communication strategy group" by Congress president Sonia Gandhi in July this year.
"All India Congress Committee Communication Strategist Shri Mani Shankar Aiyar's comment reflects what @INCIndia thinks of Honourable Prime Minister. Shameful to say the least," Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani tweeted.
She also posted a copy of the Congress press release, dated July 12, which named Aiyar as one of the leaders in the communication team. Its other members included senior party leaders such as Ghulam Nabi Azad, Mallikarjun Kharge and P Chidambaram.
"To humiliate the PM for his humble origins, to assert that they are the only ones born to reign has been Congress's Neeti - their belief and strategy. The people of Gujarat will respond to this insult by supporting 'Vikaswad' not 'Vanshwad'," Irani said.
BJP spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao said Aiyar was appointed to avoid media slip-ups and that he was wrong in saying he had no formal responsibility in the Congress.
As a controversy erupted over Aiyar's 'neech' jibe at Modi, he claimed that he was a freelance Congressman and held no post.
The Congress tonight suspended Aiyar from the primary membership of the party and issued him a show-cause notice, after he called Prime Minister Narendra Modi a "neech aadmi" (vile man). PTI KR SMN .
This is unedited, unformatted feed from the Press Trust of India wire.