Speaking disparagingly about the entire population of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh is reprehensible, Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav said on Sunday in response to remarks by Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam MP Dayanidhi Maran, reported The Hindu.

The Rashtriya Janata Dal leader made the statement after Maran’s video from 2019 resurfaced on social media. In the video, the Chennai Central MP was heard saying that people from Tamil Nadu who learn English get respectable salaried jobs, while those from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh who learn Hindi come to the southern state to build houses, roads and clean toilets.

Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair noted that news agency ANI sought responses from several politicians about Maran’s speech, and that several articles that mentioned the remarks did not mention that they were from 2019.

Commenting on Maran’s speech, Yadav said on Saturday that he strongly condemns the remarks.

“No leader should issue such statements that insult the people of any state,” he said. “People should keep in mind that this country is one and anyone can go and work anywhere, hence we all should respect each other.”

The deputy chief minister also said that his party considers the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam as a party that shares its ideal of social justice.

“Had the DMK MP highlighted caste iniquities, had he pointed out that only people from some social groups took up such hazardous jobs, it would have made sense,” Yadav said. “But to speak disparagingly of the entire populace of Bihar and UP is reprehensible. We condemn it. We believe that people should be respectful towards those coming from other parts of the country.”

Both the Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam are part of the Opposition’s INDIA alliance.

Commenting on the video, Bharatiya Janata Party MP Ravi Shankar Prasad said that the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam should stop insulting the people of Bihar, PTI reported.

“People of Bihar are forced to go there because of the condition of the state under [Bihar Chief Minister] Nitish Kumar, who is a member of their INDIA alliance,” he said.