Mumbai: Taking to social media, Shiv Sena Member of Parliament (MP) Priyanka Chaturvedi has on Thursday criticised politicians for mocking migrants from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar after Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi asked people not to let ‘bhaiyas‘ enter the state. The Rajya Sabha MP said political parties have “failed” the people of UP and Bihar, who are forced to migrate “just like Indians wanting to go abroad”.
Chaturvedi also wrote, “Look around you, they are your unorganised labour and sometimes your cheap labour, they are your service providers, they are your businessmen, they are your entrepreneurs, your lawmakers, your bureaucrats. More importantly, they are Indians. Stop mocking them.”
Channi courted controversy on Tuesday with what is being termed the ‘Channi bhaiyya slur’ for people of UP and Bihar and asked Punjab’s voters not to let them enter the state. In a video which has gone viral on social media, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra is seen clapping as she stands beside Channi when he makes the remarks during a roadshow. “Priyanka Gandhi is the daughter-in-law of Punjab. Will not let the ‘Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Delhi de bhaiyye‘, who have come here to rule, enter the state,” the incumbent Chief Minister said.
The ‘Channi bhaiyya slur’ and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s reaction have met with stinging criticism from other political parties, including the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which is seen as the Congress’ principal rival in the upcoming Punjab Assembly elections, scheduled for February 20. Several social media users, too, have taken up the cause.
Meanwhile, CM Channi has finally broken his silence on the controversy today, saying that the comments were aimed only at Delhi Chief Minister and AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal, who was “trying to rule the state through the backdoor”. He added that the Opposition had “misconstrued” his remarks.