Kolkata: The women's unit of West Bengal's ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) here on Saturday had a feast of poha (flattened rice) in protest against BJP leader Kailash Vijayvargiya's comments linking the food to Bangladeshi infiltrators.
The women leaders, including two ministers, had 'dadhikarma' (a dish in which poha is a key ingredient and is consumed on auspicious occasions) in the bustling Dharamtala area.
Targeting Vijavargiya, Minister of State for Health Chandrima Bhattacharya said, "We are all having poha. Thus, according to Kailash babu, we are all Bangladeshis. We have no problem with that. Poha is a health food."
Women and Child Development and Social Welfare Minister Shashi Karma, a doctor, was seen serving 'dadhikarma' to party workers and journalists.
Lok Sabha member Mala Roy said, "Poha is considered auspicious. He (Vijayvargiya) has lost his senses. Commoners consume poha. It shows they have no connect with the common people."
Party workers also held posters reading: "No CAA, No NRC, No NPR."
In Indore on Thursday, Vijayvargiya had claimed that labourers who recently carried out construction work at his house could be Bangladeshis as they had "strange" eating habits and ate only poha.
"When a room was being added to the house, I found eating habits of some workers strange as they ate only poha," he said.
To confirm his suspicion, the BJP leader claimed he spoke to the supervisor.
"I suspected them of being Bangladeshis and two days after that they stopped working at my house. I have not filed any police complaint yet. I only mentioned this incident to warn people," he had said.
Vijayvargiya's comments led to protests from his opponents and even sparked off a debate on Twitter, with many users stating that eating poha could not be the yardstick for someone's nationality.