New Delhi: Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb has stirred a controversy by saying Punjabis and Jats are physically strong but less intelligent than Bengalis, PTI reported on Monday.
Deb, while addressing an event at Agartala Press Club on Sunday, said every community in India is known for a certain character. “For Bengal or Bengalis, it is said that one should not challenge them when it is regarding intelligence,” the Bharatiya Janata Party leader said. “Bengalis are known as very intelligent and it is their identity. Whereas, Punjabis and Jats are known for their physical strength.”
The chief minister continued: “When we talk about the people of Punjab, we say he’s a Punjabi, a sardar. They may have less intelligence but are very strong. One can’t win them over by strength but with love and affection. A large number of Jats live in Haryana. So what do people say about Jats? Jats are less intelligent but are very healthy. If one challenges a Jat, he will bring a gun from his house.”
Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala, posting a video of the chief minister’s speech, said the comments are indicative of “the mindset of the BJP”. He also questioned why Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and his deputy Dushyant Chautala were silent. “Where are Modi ji and Nada ji? Apologise, take action,” Surjewala tweeted.
Congress leader Somen Mitra also criticised Deb’s comments. “BJP insults Jats and Punjabis,” he tweeted. “Does PM Narendra Modi who talks of Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas, approve of this despicable statement of the Tripura chief minister? Are ML Khattar, Hardeep Puri, other BJP leaders ok with what Biplab Deb has said? Is this the official line of BJP?”