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BJP, opposition parties slam Kamal for remarks on UP, Bihar migrants

BJP, opposition parties slam Kamal for remarks on UP, Bihar migrants

New Delhi: The BJP and its ally JD(U) slammed Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath for his comments linking youth of his state being deprived of jobs to migrants coming from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, with even opposition parties like the SP and the Congress ally RJD expressing their disapproval.

As his remarks made soon after he took oath of office Monday snowballed into a political row, Congress president Rahul Gandhi told reporters he will look into the matter and offer a reply later.

Nath had said in Bhopal, "Lot of industries are set up in which people from other states, like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, come to work. I do not want to criticise them, but the youth of Madhya Pradesh are deprived (of jobs)."

Highlighting Nath's own "outsider" background, BJP general secretary Kailash Vijaywargiya took a dig at him wondering whether whatever he has said should be implemented in politics as well.

The BJP leader said the Congress leader was born in Kanpur, studied in West Bangal and has now become the chief minister of Madhya Pradesh, as he accused the new chief minister of promoting divisive politics and regional chauvinism.

"Such a statement does not behove a chief minister," he said. Nath is a nine-time MP from Chhindwara in Madhya Pradesh.

Union minister Narendra Singh Tomar, who like Vijaywargiya is also a leader from Madhya Pradesh, accused Nath of misleading people and said industries in a state always give primacy to locals in jobs.

"He has also been a union minister. He should be aware of these rules. What he is talking about is already in place... By making such a claim, he is misleading people," he told reporters. Samajwadi Party (SP) president Akhilesh Yadav, who was a Congress ally in the UP assembly polls last year, said Nath's comments were wrong.

He said such statements targeting people from north India are often made by some leaders in Maharashtra and asserted it is the north Indians who decide who will rule the country.

The Delhi BJP unit staged a protest outside Nath's residence in the national capital and painted his nameplate black.

In Patna, Congress was isolated as its ally Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) criticised Nath with its spokesman Bhai Virendra saying such comments should be avoided as every citizen of the country is free to live and work anywhere.

Joining the issue, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's Janata Dal (United), a BJP ally, hit out at the Congress.

Its spokesperson Neeraj Kumar said it is ironical that Rahul Gandhi keeps talking about the Constitution being under threat from the Narendra Modi government but a senior leader of his own party takes a stand that is nothing short of an assault on the country's federal structure.

Bihar BJP chief Nityanand Rai alleged the Congress has started spewing the venom of parochialism no sooner than it won power in Madhya Pradesh.

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