The opposition Congress was quick to point out the severe mistake. "People from the North East are citizens, not immigrants," said Ajay Maken, who is leading the Congress campaign for Delhi. "The BJP must apologize."
Strong criticism also erupted on Twitter.
Just got called 'immigrant' in my own country by the party that rules the country. Such sad state of affairs. #NEpeopleAreIndians- Angellica Aribam (@AngellicAribam) February 3, 2015
The BJP's vision document - about 20 pages long - covers 270 points, said Kiran Bedi, the party's Chief Ministerial candidate. The 65-year-old said women's safety will be a priority for a BJP government - Delhi is known as the rape capital of India. However, the plan that she released - which stands in for a manifesto - does not comment on whether the BJP will push for complete statehood for Delhi, a promise it had made ahead of earlier elections in the capital.
North-Easterners living in Delhi are often exposed to racism and complain of poor policing when they seek help. In February last year, Nido Tania, a college student from Arunachal Pradesh, died after being beaten by shopkeepers in a crowded market. The tragedy triggered protests and the Delhi Police set up a 24-hour helpline for the exclusive use of residents from the North East who want assistance or wish to point out any discrimination.