Punjab CM Channi says ‘UP, Bihar bhaiye’ remarks being ‘twisted’; PM, Oppn target Congress | 5 points

File photo of Charanjit Singh Channi | PTI

Punjab’s voters are set to elect MLAs to the state’s 117-member assembly on February 20. Voting in 59 assembly constituencies in Uttar Pradesh will take place on the same day.

With less than 72 hours to go for polling, the Opposition in Punjab trained its guns on CM Charanjit Singh Channi over remarks he made during a poll rally in Ropar on Tuesday in the presence of Congress party’s general secretary in charge of UP, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.

Channi, who is also the Congress party’s CM candidate in Punjab, said on Tuesday, “Priyanka Gandhi is the daughter-in-law of Punjab, she is of Punjab. All Punjabis must get together. We will not allow them to enter, the ‘bhaiye’ from UP, Bihar and Delhi who come here to rule.”

READ: Charanjit Singh Channi’s statement angers ‘bhaiyas’ from UP, Bihar living in Punjab

Channi issues clarification

After his remarks invited the ire of Opposition leaders and migrants who have settled down in Punjab, Charanjit Singh Channi said on Thursday that his statement was being “twisted “.

“My statement is being twisted since yesterday. The migrants have taken Punjab to the path of development with their hard work. They have always contributed towards development,” he said in a video message on Twitter.

Channi went on to add, “All migrants who have come to Punjab shed their sweat and blood for the state’s development. Our relationship with them is like one of nail and skin.

‘“For people from UP, Bihar, Rajasthan and other places who come to Punjab for work, Punjab is theirs as much as it is ours. Therefore, it is not correct to show this in a wrong manner. Migrants are dear to us.”

He also said that he had made the ‘bhaiye’ remark in the context of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders who are seeking a mandate in Punjab.

Top 5 Developments

1. A complaint has been filed against Charanjit Singh Channi at a police station in Patna for his remarks aimed at migrants from UP and Bihar. The police complaint was filed by one Manish Kumar Singh who is a national vice-president of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM), which is the BJP’s youth wing.

2. Speaking at a poll rally in Punjab’s Abohar on Thursday, PM Modi condemned Channi’s remarks. “Was Sant Ravidasji born in Punjab? He was born in Uttar Pradesh’s Varanasi and you [Channi] say that you won’t let UP’s people enter Punjab. Will you drive out Sant Ravidas as well,” the Prime Minister asked.

Samajwadi Party workers burning an effigy of Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Charanjit Singh Channi in Jalandhar on Thursday | PTI

3. Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who is being criticised for applauding Charanjit Singh Channi’s controversial remarks, also issued a clarification on Thursday. She said, “All that CM Charanjit Singh Channi said was that Punjab should be run by Punjabis. His [Channi’s] statement was misconstrued. I don’t think anyone from UP is interested in coming to Punjab and ruling.”

4. BJP national president JP Nadda, speaking at a poll rally in Manipur on Thursday said: “Punjab CM says don’t let UP, Bihar bhaiyas enter the state and Priyanka Gandhi claps her hands. She calls herself the daughter of Uttar Pradesh but she clapped her hands upon hearing it.”

5. Reacting to Charanjit Singh Channi’s remarks, Bihar CM Nitish Kumar told reporters on Thursday, “This is nonsense. I am appalled at how people can say such things. Does he [Channi] not know how many people from Bihar live there [in Punjab] and how much they have served that land?”

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