CMs of northeastern States slam Sam Pitroda for ‘racist’ remark

The chief of the Indian Overseas Congress likened people in various parts of the country to communities across the globe

Updated - May 09, 2024 02:11 pm IST

Published - May 08, 2024 10:36 pm IST - GUWAHATI

Sam Pitroda, former chief of the Indian Overseas Congress. File

Sam Pitroda, former chief of the Indian Overseas Congress. File | Photo Credit: PTI

The Chief Ministers of the northeastern States have slammed Sam Pitroda, former chief of the Indian Overseas Congress, for his allegedly racist remarks while describing India’s diversity.

Mr. Pitroda, known to be close to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, said people from various parts of India look like Chinese, Arab, Whites and Africans.

Taking to X, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma wrote: “Sam bhai, I am from the North East and I look like an Indian. We are a diverse country – we may look different but we are all one. Hamare desh ke bare mein thoda to samajh lo (learn a bit about our country)!”

His Manipur counterpart, Nongthombam Biren Singh, said Mr. Pitroda should say sorry for being racist. “We are proud Indians. He should apologise to everyone for the racist remarks. Some elements are trying to divide us, but we won’t allow them (to) do so,” he said.

Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma said he was “disappointed and hurt” by the remarks. “I condemn such statements. In any context, it’s just a wrong statement to make. People of the Northeast have faced racial discrimination. It’s a sensitive matter,” he said.

Tripura Chief Minister Manik Saha said from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, and from Ahmedabad to Arunachal Pradesh people have only one identity – Indian. “But blinded by the greed of power, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s mentor Sam Pitroda and the discriminatory INDI Alliance mentality has gone so low that they are now judging the people of India by their skin colour and face. I strongly condemn this disgusting mentality,” he wrote on X.

Mr. Pitroda had earlier triggered a row with his inheritance tax proposal, giving the BJP a stick to beat the Congress with during the earlier phases of the Lok Sabha election.

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