Suspended Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar on Friday said he was ready to accept any punishment from the party for his "neech aadmi" remark against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and added that he is "saddened" if it has done any damage to the party, ahead of the Gujarat polls.
"If any damage has been done to Congress because of what I said, then I am saddened. I am ready to accept any punishment that the Congress party wants to give me," said Aiyar.
"I did not have any such intention," he added.
On Thursday, Aiyar triggered a major storm calling Narendra Modi a "neech aadmi" (base), which the Prime Minister gave a caste angle, telling an election rally in Gujarat that describing him as "neech jaati" (low born) was an insult to Gujaratis who will vote out the Congress in the assembly elections
In a damage-control move, the Congress on Thursday night suspended the senior party leader from its primary membership and slapped a show cause notice on him for his "neech" remark, which has mushroomed into a massive controversy just ahead of the Gujarat polls.