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Meghalaya CM, BJP, TMC condemn Kriti Azad remark on traditional Khasi dress

“The TMC leader made such a statement which is very insulting to the people of our state and especially to the Khasi tribe,” Sangma said.

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Shillong: Chief Minister Conrad Sangma on Thursday condemned the mocking tweet made by former cricketer-turned Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader, Kirti Azad regarding the traditional tribal regalia sported by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his recent visit to the Meghalaya capital, saying it was “unfortunate” and an “insult” to the people of the state.

“The TMC leader made such a statement which is very insulting to the people of our state and especially to the Khasi tribe,” Sangma said.

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The Chief Minister said that the statement made by the TMC leader was “insensitive”, adding that the concerned political party must apologize for insulting the people of the state and its culture.

“The leaders of the political party of the state and the individual who had made the statement must apologize for the kind of insulting statement made by him,” Sangma said.

During his visit to the state capital on December 18, Prime Minister Modi wore a traditional Khasi outfit “‘Jymphong” and a Garo headgear. 

However, Azad tweeted in Hindi “Neither male, nor female. Only a worshipper of fashion,” while sharing a photo of Prime Minister Modi in the traditional attire along with a picture of a woman wearing the same ‘multi-floral embroidered dress’.

On the other hand, the Meghalaya State Unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party has condemned Azad’s remark mocking the Khasi culture in “very demeaning” words.

“TMC leader Kriti Azad had used a very derogatory phrase for the traditional attire of the Khasis, which our Prime Minister so proudly wore,” State BJP president Ernest Mawrie said. 

Mawrie said the remarks showed the “real mindset” of the TMC leadership against the tribals of the state, and tribals in general.

He said the TMC was an “elitist party” which finds all others below them, adding that the remark also showed how little this regional party from West Bengal understood Meghalaya, its people and its culture.

Mawrie implored upon the state leaders who have joined TMC to see the truth about the “real intent” of their party, adding that the people of Meghalaya will never accept the TMC ever.

Meanwhile, the TMC also tweeted deploring Azad’s statement, saying, “We uphold India’s diversity & respect the vibrant culture of our nation. Proudly, we celebrate the ethnic traditions of diverse people and strive to empower them. We do not support @KirtiAzaad’s comments & strongly condemn it. His remarks do not reflect the party’s views”.

The derogatory statement of the TMC leader has also come in for sharp condemnation from several other quarters, including from senior journalists of the state. 

Meanwhile a defiant Azad refused to apologise and further tweeted: “I have not disrespected the attire, I love it. I am trying to express that our Prime Minister loves to make a fashion statement. Never misses an opportunity.” 

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