Prime Minister Narendra Modi today tore into Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi over his controversial “UP, Bihar ke bhaiye” comment and also targeted Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, saying the “family from Delhi was clapping”.
“What the Congress Chief Minister said here the entire country has seen. The family from Delhi is his maalik (boss), that maalik was standing next to him, clapping,” PM Modi said at a rally in Punjab ahead of the Sunday election in the state.
“Where was Guru Govind Singh born? In Patna Sahib, in Bihar. Will you throw Guru Govind Singh out of Punjab? People of such divisive mentality should not be allowed to rule Punjab even for one moment,” said the Prime Minister.
PM Modi also referenced Guru Ravidas, a Dalit icon whose birth anniversary yesterday saw various political leaders pausing their campaign to visit temples.
“Only yesterday we observed Sant Ravidas Jayanti. Where was he born? In Uttar Pradesh, in Varanasi. Will you remove Sant Ravidas from Punjab?” asked the PM.
Mr Channi made the comment during a roadshow yesterday, while he was campaigning with Priyanka Gandhi.
“Priyanka Gandhi is Punjab’s daughter-in-law, she is the bahu of Punjabis. Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Delhi ke bhaiye cannot come here and rule. We will not allow UP bhaiyas to stray into Punjab,” Mr Channi had said.
Priyanka Gandhi was seen smiling and clapping. Supporters cheered and shouted “Bole so nihal…”.
The comments were seen to aim partly at Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who has been campaigning extensively in Punjab for his Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).
“It is very shameful. We strongly condemn comments aimed at any individual or any particular community,” Mr Kejriwal said.