Revanth Reddy has been sworn in as Telangana's new Chief Minister
Revanth Reddy has raised a big row on his first day in office as the new Chief Minister of Telangana with his "Bihar DNA" comment.
Many leaders in Bihar, where Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's Janata Dal (United) and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) are running the government in an alliance, have condemned Mr Reddy's comment that seemed to put Bihar in a poor light. Even the BJP has condemned Mr Reddy.
Mr Reddy reportedly told reporters that his predecessor K Chandrashekar Rao (KCR), the first Chief Minister of Telangana, has "Bihar DNA", indicating he was a better choice for the southern state than KCR.
"My DNA is Telangana. KCR's DNA is Bihar. He belongs to Bihar. KCR's caste is Kurmi. They migrated from Bihar to Vijayanagaram and from there to Telangana. Telangana DNA is better than Bihar DNA," Mr Reddy had reportedly said.
The Congress and Bihar's ruling parties are members of the Opposition bloc INDIA.
JD(U) leader Neeraj Kumar in an interview to Aaj Tak said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had taken a swipe over "Bihar DNA", due to which the BJP lost the state election in 2015.
"There is no such thing as Telangana DNA, Bihar DNA. It is Hindustan's DNA. It is unfortunate that the Telangana leader said such a thing. What do they think, the INDIA alliance will grow stronger with such statements?" Mr Kumar told Aaj Tak.
Even the BJP criticised Mr Reddy's comment and demanded that the Congress and other members of the Opposition INDIA bloc condemn his comment and tell him to apologise.
BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad termed Mr Reddy's remarks "very shameful, divisive and arrogant."
"Does he want to break the country? The big question here is why are the INDIA alliance members silent. Why has Nitish Kumar not said anything (on Mr Reddy's remarks) so far? What are the Congress members in Bihar doing?" Mr Prasad said.
BJP MP and former deputy chief minister of Bihar Sushil Modi, too, demanded Mr Reddy to apologise. "The INDIA alliance members kept insulting Hindu dharma and Sanatana dharma. Now they have come to 'Bihar DNA'. Is it appropriate to say that 'Telangana DNA' is better than 'Bihar DNA' and make such comments against the people of another state?" he said.
Mr Reddy, referred to as "Tiger Revanth" by supporters, has been credited to have played a major role in the Congress's victory. A former TDP leader, Mr Reddy switched to the Congress in 2017. He was appointed Telangana Congress president in 2021.
Over the past two years, Mr Reddy led a spirited campaign against the KCR-led government and was seen leading street protests and public demonstrations over a host of issues. The Congress's efforts bore fruit and the party trumped the BRS.