Trinamool Congress candidate from Asansol Lok Sabha constituency Moon Moon Sen created a huge controversy on Monday while campaigning at a party meeting in Amritnagar under Asansol South Assembly segment after she described the Bihari population in Bengal as “good police informers”.

“Those Biharis who used to work as informers of Kolkata Police had good reputation. Earlier, they were seen wearing dhotis and kurtas, sitting on police jeeps, but these scenes go missing now. As a result, police officials face problems,” she said.

The colliery belt of Asansol has a considerable number of non-Bengali, particularly Bihari, population. Sen, after initially starting her speech in Bengali on Monday, slowly switched over to Hindi.

Locals were shocked when the TMC candidate spoke about the Bihari community. She, however, also criticised the condition of roads and said her favourite vehicle would take a toll travelling on these roads during campaigning for the Asansol Lok Sabha seat.

Criticising her statement, BJP candidate from Asansol Babul Supriyo tweeted: “I strongly condemn the derogatory comments made by Moon Moon Sen against the people from Bihar. This is no accidental reaction coming from TMC. In 2014, Miss Mamata Banerjee had called the Bihari Bhais as Mehman (guests) in her political rally during the Asansol Lok Sabha polls for TMC candidate Dola Sen. This shows the true colour of Trinamul.”

CPI-M candidate Gouranga Chatterjee also condemned Moon Moon Sen’s comment and said she had insulted the non-Bengali speaking people of Asansol. So far, no official statement has been made by the TMC on the issue.

Asansol represents a mini India, with people from Jharkhand, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and even faraway Rajasthan having migrated several decades ago and staying back here, becoming permanent residents of the biggest industrial zone of the country.

In Asansol Lok Sabha constituency, the non-Bengali population is over 52 per cent spread over the seven assembly segments of Kulti, Baraboni, Asansol North, Asansol South, Raniganj, Jamuria, Pandaveswar.