Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Deb landed in a controversy after he said that Punjabis and Jats are physically strong but have less brains while Bengalis are known to be very intelligent. The BJP leader made the comment while addressing a programme at the Agartala Press Club on Sunday.
In a viral video clip, Deb was heard saying, "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." 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.
After receiving flak on social media, the Tripura CM on Tuesday apologised for his comments and said he had only expressed the thoughts of "some people".
Taking to Twitter, he said, "In an event organized at Agartala Press Club, I had mentioned the views of some people about my Punjabi and Jat brothers. My impression was not to hurt any society. I am proud of both Punjabi and Jat communities. I myself have lived among them for a long time."
"Many of my friends come from this society. If my statement has hurt anyone's feelings, I am personally apologetic for that," he said. "I always salute the contribution of Punjabi and Jat community in the freedom struggle of the country. And I can never imagine raising questions on the role played by these two communities in advancing India," he added.
Congress leader Randeep Surjewala had earlier said that Deb's comments were "shameful and unfortunate". "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 had tweeted.
(With PTI inputs)
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