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CMs of NE states condemn Piroda’s ‘racist’ comment on people of region

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NewsDrum Desk
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Imphal/Shillong/Guwahati, May 8 (PTI) Chief ministers of three states of the northeast on Wednesday condemned as “racist and divisive” the comment of Congress leader Sam Pitroda that the “people of the east look like the Chinese”.

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Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, Manipur CM N Biren Singh and their counterpart in Meghalaya Conrad K Sangma said that the remark has hurt the sentiment of the people.

"What has (Congress leader) Jairam Ramesh tweeted after such a grave insult to Northeast people? He just said they don't support it. But what about the next step? Why are you not disowning him? Why are you not throwing him out of his post? In what capacity was he speaking?" Sarma told reporters.

Pitroda later resigned as the chairman of the Indian Overseas Congress and his resignation has been accepted.

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“Why is Congress not expelling Sam Pitroda from the party? Team Rahul wants to spoil the work done for 10 years to connect northeast India with the country,” Sarma told reporters.

Stating that Pitroda does not use his real name, the Assam chief minister said, “A man who cannot respect the name given to him by his parents, how will he respect the country?” Pitroda's actual name is Satyanarayan Gangaram Pitroda, but he is known as Sam.

Manipur chief minister N Biren Singh said he condemns the “racist remarks” made by Pitroda against the people of the northeast.

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"The Congress has always tried to divide India with their Divide and Rule policy. But they must know that NE has been a part of India and will always be," Singh said in a post on X.

Such a “mockery” of India's diversity is highly unacceptable, he said and demanded that the Congress and Pitroda apologise publicly.

The Meghalaya chief minister said that the comment is unfortunate and has hurt the sentiment of the people of NE and other parts of the country.

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"Being from the North East, we have seen and experienced that (discrimination) in the past decades, different kinds of racial discrimination against the NE people. We had hope that we had gone beyond that now,” said Sangma, also the National People’s Party supremo.

Pitroda might have said this in another context, but "such comments do not go down well with the people, he said.

In a podcast, Pitroda said “People of the east look like the Chinese and those of the south look like Africans", triggering a huge controversy. PTI TR/JOP/COR TR NN

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