KOLKATA: Days after BJP leader Kailash Vijayvargiya made a bizarre connection between food and nationality and drew flak on social media, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee on Monday wondered who gave the saffron party leaders the right to comment on eating habits or attire.
Vijayvargiya, who is BJP's Bengal minder, recently said at a seminar in Indore that he suspected there were Bangladeshis among the construction labourers at his house as they were eating poha (flattened rice).
He also said the "strange" eating habits of the workers aroused suspicion about their nationality.
Addressing a workshop of the Trinamool Congress Chhatra Parishad (students' wing), Banerjee said, "Who gave them (BJP) the right to make such remarks? Can you determine someone's nationality just by seeing him eat poha? Will you be able to verify someone's nationality based on the clothes he or she is wearing?" Prime Minister Narendra Modi had last year said, during a poll rally in Jharkhand, that those indulging in arson over the citizenship legislation "can be identified by their clothes".
Banerjee, who is also the TMC supremo, iterated that she would not allow the NPR exercise in Bengal, unless necessary modifications were made in the form.
"Why is that people were being asked to furnish address and birth certificate of parents for NPR?" she questioned.
Charging the BJP with "doublespeak" and "hypocrisy", she said, "Some people want only one colour to persist but our country is a beautiful mosaic of all colours."