BJP Bengal chief Dilip Ghosh today has claimed that people from other states played a bigger role than Bengalis in bringing about development in the state.
His remarks, amid a raging "outsider versus insider" debate in the state, have drawn sharp reactions from the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC), who accused Dilip Ghosh of playing "divisive" politics without knowing anything about the state's history and culture.
"Since the pre-Independence era, people who had come from other states played a crucial role in Bengal's development. Most of those who worked at mills and factories here were from other states. So those from outside played a bigger role than the Bengalis in developing the state," Mr Ghosh said at a programme in Kolkata.
The ruling party is now tagging people who worked for the welfare of Bengal as "outsiders", the BJP leader alleged.
"Shah Rukh Khan (state's ambassador) and Prashant Kishor (TMC's poll strategist) have become insiders now. This is the irony," he said.
Reacting to his comments, TMC secretary-general Partha Chatterjee said the BJP's intent to "humiliate and undermine" Bengalis now stands exposed.
"I think Dilip Ghosh is not aware of the role Bengalis have played in the nation's overall development and freedom struggle," he said.