The punch fight that took place between Amar Singh and Mani Shankar Aiyar in 2000 is still fresh in the minds of those who witnessed it. At a dinner party hosted by Satish Gujraral (brother of former PM IK Gujraral) BSP leader Amar Singh and Congress party leader Mani Shankar Aiyar landed punches on one another while the national capital’s glitterati stood watching the two senior political leaders.
Later in an interview, Amar Singh revealed that Mani Shankar had provoked him to a point where he couldn’t control his temper and ended up punching his colleague. According to Singh, Aiyar came up to him fully drunk and started abusing him and the SP supremo Mulayam Singh. Aiyar accused Amar Singh for being a racist and also accused him of preventing Sonia Gandhi from becoming the Prime Minister owing to her foreign roots. Mani Shankar was extremely disrespectful and went on to call Amar Singh a “political weather cock”. He also abused Singh by calling a “broker of industrialists” and “Ambani’s dog”. Despite Aiyar’s derogatory comments, Singh restored his calm, and did not help Mani succeed in his game plan of provoking him.
Abuses flew thick and fast, Amar Singh tried his best to calm Aiyar down and even said, “It is not you but your wine talking,” his efforts however, were fruitless as Mani Shankar did not relent. He got personal with Singh and challenged him by asking what sort of a Thakur he was.
Mani Shankar Aiyar then trained his guns at Mulayam Singh and told Amar Singh: We are from Oxford and Cambridge while your leader can’t even speak English…Mulayam looks just like me. It could be because my father visited UP some time. Why don’t you ask Mulayam’s mother?”
Amar Singh, who was one of the most trusted members of Mulayam Singh’s party, could not stop himself after this derogatory comment. He has been vocal about the fact that he kept Mulayam Singh in high esteem and Mani Shankar Aiyar hurt both, Amar Singh and Mulayam Singh. The elite galaxy of power, witnessed a desi fight between two top leaders of the country after Aiyar crossed the line.
In 2017, when Aiyar made the “neech aadmi” comment, Rajya Sabha member Amar Singh objected to his mindless speech, and reminded him of the spat between the two. It is surprising that even after the particular incident; Aiyar did not learn to keep his foul mouth shut. Talking ill of the PM, BJP and now Hindu culture seems like a guilty pleasure for Aiyar. The fact that Congress party, on various occasions had to apologise on the behalf of its leader’s derogatory comment is testimony to Aiyar’s incorrigible behaviour. Masking his oafish jibes as “intellectual ability” does not give him the right to abuse important leaders of the country. This blast from the past proves that Aiyar is no “newbee” like Pitroda and Kharge. He has always been an unapologetic offender. Congress is taking a big risk by not keeping him on a leash, and leading to further taint the reputation of the party.