Political parties have slammed Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for his remark on “people who say Abba Jaan” in an apparent attack against the Muslim community and the Samajwadi Party.
Addressing a programme in Kushinagar on Sunday, Adityanath alleged that people did not get rations before 2017 like they do now. “Because then, people who say ‘abba jaan‘ used to digest the rations. The rations of Kushinagar used to go to Nepal and Bangladesh. Today, if anybody tries to swallow the rations meant for poor people, he will land in jail,” the chief minister said.
“Abba Jaan” is an Urdu language term for father.
National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah took to Twitter to criticise the chief minister’s remark. “I’ve always maintained the BJP has no intention of fighting any election with an agenda other than blatant communalism & hatred with all the venom directed towards Muslims. Here is a CM seeking re-election claiming that Muslims ate up all the rations meant for Hindus,” he said.
Terming Adityanath’s remark “unparliamentary”, Samajwadi Party MLC Ashutosh Sinha said, “The use of unparliamentary language in the capacity of a chief minister does not suit him, and it shows that he is less educated. This is because those who are well-educated use proper and dignified language. A person who is occupying a Constitutional post should refrain from using such language. Use of such language is also sad for democracy.”
Uttar Pradesh Congress spokesperson Ashok Singh said, “The language used by the UP chief minister tarnishes democracy, and it is aimed at dividing the society.”
Adityanath’s comment led to wide condemnation on Twitter as users accused the Chief Minister of making communal references, starting a campaign with the hashtag HamareAbbaJaan.
Retired Foreign Secretary Nirupama Menon Rao shared a photo of her father saying, “My father just as he joined the Army in 1941. He made me what I am. My #AbbaJaan.”
Journalist Saba Naqvi posted a throwback picture with her father, noted journalist Saeed Naqvi, from their ancestral village in Uttar Pradesh.
Writer and chronicler Rana Safvi shared a photo of her father saying, “he taught us the value of truthfulness, honesty and above all humanity.” British-American writer and journalist Aatish Taseer also tweeted a picture of his father and mother.
Last month, Yogi Adityanath had blamed the opposition for vaccine hesitancy in the state, saying some only took the jab after their ‘Abba Jaan‘ did.