Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and Tripura State Minister Biplab Dev has sparked a controversy after claiming that his party planned to expand into neighbouring countries, a local news website, East Mojo, reported.

He recollected his discussion with federal Home Minister Amit Shah, during which the latter shared plans to have a BJP government in Sri Lanka and Nepal during an internal meeting of the party.

“We were talking at a meeting in the State Guest House when Ajay Jamwal (BJP’s zonal secretary for northeast) said that BJP had come to power in several states. In reply, Amit Shah said that Nepal and Sri Lanka are still left. We have to win there as well,” Deb said in a party programme on Saturday.

Soon after his comment went viral, netizens questioned whether BJP is planning to partake in an election in the US or Russia too.

​​Not only netizens but also Tripura state opposition leaders Tapas Dev accused BJP of interfering in the internal affairs of neighbouring countries. 

“This attitude of BJP is anti-national and anti-democratic. We respect our neighbouring countries, and there is no justification to interfere in the internal affairs of these countries,” Congress leader Tapas Day said on Monday. 

Biplap Deb has made headlines for controversial comments ever since he came to power in the northeastern state Tripura. In 2020, he said that Punjabis and Jats are physically strong but less intelligent than Bengalis, which are residents of the eastern part of the country. 

He told a crowd at a rally that the internet and satellites were not new to India but had existed since the time of the Mahabharata (almost 3,000 years ago).