Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Deb has courted controversy by saying Punjabis and Jats are physically strong but less brainy while Bengalis are known as very intelligent.
Every community in India is known with a certain type and character, the BJP leader said while addressing a programme at Agartala Press Club on Sunday. A video clip of the chief minister's statement has gone viral on social media.
"For Bengal or Bengalis, it is said that one should not challenge them when it is regarding intelligence. Bengalis are known as very intelligent and it is their identity," Deb was heard saying in the clip.
Whereas, Punjabis and Jats are known for their physical strength, he said. "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," Deb said.
The Congress termed chief minister's remarks "shameful and unfortunate".
Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said Deb has insulted the "Sikh brothers" of Punjab and the Jat community of Haryana. "This is the BJP's lowly mindset. Why are Khattar ji and Dushyant Chautala silent? Where are Modi ji and Nadaji? Apologize, take action," Surjewala tweeted.
The Tripura chief minister had created controversies earlier also. In 2018, he said internet and satellite television existed in the time of the Mahabharata. He had questioned the crowning of Diana Hayden as "Miss World" in 1997 and alleged that international beauty pageants were a farce.
He claimed last year that Mughals intended to destroy the cultural wonders of the state by "bombing" its arts and architectures.