Kailash Vijayvargiya, the national general secretary of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, on Thursday said that the construction workers at his house had “strange eating habits” that aroused suspicions about their nationality, PTI reported.

The labourers were only consuming poha, a popular dish made from flattened rice, Vijayvargiya said at a seminar on the Citizenship Amendment Act in Indore, Madhya Pradesh.

“I suspected these workers were residents of Bangladesh,” he said. “Two days after I became suspicious, they stopped working at my house.”

Vijayvargiya’s bizarre comment caused a barrage of reactions from social media users.

Poha is a popular dish widely consumed in central and western India. Indore, in fact, has its own variety of poha. One Twitter user reminded everyone that cricketer and BJP MP Gautam Gambhir was recently spotted enjoying jalebi and poha in Indore.

There were quite a few jokes at the idea of connecting food habits to nationality.

Many users connected this to the intolerance shown by the ruling BJP for those who are different, whether in terms of ideology or food habits.