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BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya under fire for ‘poha eating’ comments

NEW DELHI/KOLKATA: BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya’s ‘poha eating Bangladeshi labourers’ comments made in Indore on Thursday has created a political uproar.

While the opposition attacked Vijayvargiya for the comment, even his own party found it indefensible, with Union minister Prakash Javadekar saying, “I also eat poha and serve it to you (journalists).”

He sought to underplay the comments saying it was a non-issue.

The opposition, however, thought otherwise. The Congress lashed out at Vijayvargiya for connecting food to nationality.

Demanding his apology, party leader Sushmita Dev said the remarks exposed the Modi government’s real intent on NPR and that it had been made deliberately to instil fears in the minds of people and profile them on the basis of food habits.

In West Bengal, ruling Trinamool and the Left alleged the remarks reflected the “racist and communal” mindset of the present BJP dispensation.

Vijayvargiya is the BJP in-charge for Bengal. He had said that he suspected some of the workers who were recently engaged in construction work at his house, to be Bangladeshis as they only consumed poha.