- Kamal Nath accused of inciting hatred against people of other states
- Complaint filed against him in Bihar over his comments
- Such policy exists in other states, Kamal Nath said in his defence
Kamal Nath, the new Congress chief minister of Madhya Pradesh, has defended his controversial remark about cutting out migrants from other states from jobs in the state, which has drawn censure from adversaries and allies alike. On Wednesday, a complaint was filed against him in Bihar and BJP lawmakers raised the issue in parliament, accusing the chief minister of inciting hatred against people of other states.
"Such a policy exists in other states also. Is it not there in Gujarat? What is new in it? Local people should get preference," Mr Nath told reporters.
In October, BJP-ruled Gujarat had witnessed protests against migrants from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. In Maharashtra, locals versus outsiders has been a key issue for Shiv Sena and its offshoot, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena of Raj Thackeray.
The Congress has consistently attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the government's failure to create jobs despite its promises.
On how his government planned to create jobs in Madhya Pradesh, Kamal Nath, who took oath on Monday, said many jobs in the state go to migrants from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
"Lot of industries are set up which employ people from other states, like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. I don't want to criticize them, but the young people of Madhya Pradesh remain deprived," he said, announcing a new policy under which industries that get incentives are required to employ 70 per cent of their workforce from residents of the state.
"Those who want to come here and take advantage of the investment policies will have to give employment to 70 per cent locals of Madhya Pradesh. I have already signed on the file in this regard," Mr Nath had said soon after taking oath.
His remarks had hugely upset Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav, who is supporting the Congress government in the state.
"This is wrong. In Maharashtra, you hear questions like why have north Indians come here. Why are north Indians doing business here? The same questions come from Delhi. Now this is coming from Madhya Pradesh. If north Indians get together and decide then who will come to the center," said the leader from Uttar Pradesh.
Bihar leader Chirag Paswan, whose father Ram Vilas Paswan heads the NDA ally Lok Janashakti Party, also criticised the statement of Kamal Nath over his remark on "outsiders" taking away jobs from the people of Madhya Pradesh. "The way he (Kamal Nath) has spoken about Biharis and the people coming from UP is very derogatory and Rahul Gandhi needs to explain this," Mr Paswan said.
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