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punjab: Channi stokes controversy with ‘UP-Bihar bhaiyyas’ comment | India News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: Punjab chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi waded into a controversy dragging senior party leader Priyanka Gandhi along with him when he asked Punjabis to stand together and reject the ‘bhaiyyas’ who come to Punjab.
Channi’s comments were immediately latched onto by opposition parties who accused Congress of playing divisive politics.
Clips of Channi’s speech went viral on social media in which he is heard proclaiming in chaste Punjabi that Priyanka Gandhi is the daughter-in-law of Punjabis.
Channi claims that Priyanka is a punjabi and asks Punjabis to stand together and reject the bhaiyas from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar who are coming to Punjab to “rule the state”.
A smiling Priyanka Gandhi is seen vigorously nodding in support of Channi’s statement.
Apparently Channi, by trying to project Priyanka as a Punjabi, was trying to hit out at rival AAP and also BJP. Many of AAP leaders who have worked or are working in Punjab are from outside the state. Similarly. BJP also has its national leaders campaigning as is the Congress.
However, the comment against UP and Bihar ‘bhaiyyas’ comes at a time when Priyanka Gandhi is trying hard to muster votes in Uttar Pradesh. There is also a sizeable migrant population in cities like Ludhiana in Punjab.
Rival parties were quick to hit out at the Congress.
At a press conference, AAP leaders Arvind Kejriwal and Bhagwant Mann condemned the statement.
“It is very shameful. We strongly condemn comments aimed at any individual or any particular community,” AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal said. Mann pointed out that Priyanka Gandhi also belonged to Uttar Pradesh.
“So she is also a bhaiyya.” Kejriwal added.

“First Rahul Gandhi said India isn’t . Now Priyanka Vadra cheers to CM Charanjit Channi’s call to boycott people from UP and Bihar. The work to divide India has been an ongoing project for Congress’ family. That is why India is rejecting them state after state,” senior BJP leader and Union minister Bhupendra Yadav tweeted.

BJP youth wing chief Tejasvi Surya said that Priyanka Gandhi calls herself the daughter of UP and then in Punjab applauded when the same people are insulted.

The Congress is trying hard to retain power in Punjab but has been facing an uphill task especially because of infighting within its state unit. Former chief minister Amarinder Singh has already aligned with the BJP.
There also have been indications that party chief Navjot Singh Sidhu and chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi are not always on the same page on various issues.
Channi had pipped Sidhu to become chief minister of the state. Recently, Sidhu had declined, although politely, a request to address supporters in a rally in Dhuri where Priyanka Gandhi and Channi were both present.

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