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Modi began personal attacks: Mani Shankar Aiyar on tea-vendor jibe

January 20, 2014 16:32 IST

Congress Member of Parliament Mani Shankar Aiyar, who stirred up a controversy with his "tea vendor" taunt against Narendra Modi, on Monday accused the Bharatiya Janata Party prime ministerial candidate of starting personal attacks against leaders and said he had only given a "fitting reply".

"It was Modi who began lowering the tenor of our politics by launching personal attacks in abusive language on our [Congress] leaders. Therefore my comments were no more than a fitting reply," Aiyar, who is now in Tamil Nadu, told PTI.

Aiyar had mocked Modi's prime ministerial ambitions saying that though the Gujarat chief minister cannot attain that goal in this century, a tea stall would be identified for him at the All India Congress Committee venue.

"I promise you that in the 21st century, Modi will never become the prime minister of the country... But if he wants to distribute tea here, we will find a place for him," Aiyar had said recently at the venue of an AICC meeting.

Modi, who was once a tea vendor, had hit at out at the chaiwala barbs at him by Congress leaders accusing them of "feudal mindset".

Asked about the coming Lok Saba elections and his party's efforts for a tie-up in Tamil Nadu, Aiyar said, "Talks are on."     

The Congress is scouting for actor-turned politician Vijayakanth-led Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam to join it to face the polls, besides wooing certain smaller parties with influence in certain electoral pockets.

"If ultimately we have to fight alone, then we will field our candidates in every constituency in Tamil Nadu," he said.

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