Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar on Monday stoked a controversy when he invoked the rulers of the Mughal dynasty in the election of Rahul Gandhi as party President, which Prime Minister Narendra Modi latched on to quickly to call it "Aurangzeb Raj".
"When Shah Jahan came in the place of Jahangir did any election happen? And when Aurangzeb came in place of Shah Jahan did any election happen? It was known to everyone that the throne of the king will automatically go to the heir," Aiyar said, retorting to the "dynasty" jibes of the BJP on Rahul Gandhi's election.
"But in a democracy elections are held. I openly invite Poonawala to file the nomination and contest," Aiyar said, adding has anyone heard of Shehzad Poonawala.
He was replying to a question about BJP's criticism following Maharashtra Congress leader Poonawala calling Rahul Gandhi's election as party chief rigged.
Modi was quick to pounce on Aiyar's remarks. Addressing a public meeting in Dharampur constituency in Gujarat, Modi said: "Mani Shankar Aiyar, who never shies away from showing loyalty to one family, proudly said -- When Shah Jahan came in the place of Jahangir did any elections happen? And when Aurangzeb came in place of Shah Jahan did any election happen? It was known to everyone that the the throne of the king will automatically go the son," Modi said.
"I congratulate the Congress on their 'Aurangzeb Raj.' For us, the wellbeing of the people matters and 125 crore Indians are our high command," he said.
He also said that the Congress leaders admit that it is not a party but a kunba (family).