- Kamal Nath's comment on migrants has triggered a controversy
- The BJP demands Congress president Rahul Gandhi's apology
- Even ally Akhilesh Yadav has criticised the comment
Just after taking charge as Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister, Kamal Nath has provoked a controversy with his comments on migrants from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar taking jobs in the state at the cost of its residents. The BJP has demanded Congress president Rahul Gandhi's apology for the comments and even the Samajwadi Party, an ally, is upset.
"Lot of industries are set up in which take 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," Kamal Nath said, suggesting government incentives for industries who give 70 per cent of their jobs to people from the state.
Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, who was conspicuously missing from the ranks of opposition parties who attended the oath ceremonies of Kamal Nath and two other Congress chief ministers yesterday, sharply criticized the comments. "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 Uttar Pradesh politician.
Congress' Bihar ally RJD was also critical. The party's lawmaker and spokesman Bhai Virendra said such comments "should be avoided" as every citizen of the country was free to live and work anywhere.
Union Minister Giriraj Kishore of the BJP said Kamal Nath should clarify what he meant and "Rahul Gandhi should apologise to the people of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar".
He said: "The people of Bihar and UP work hard for development of the states they go to. Rahul Gandhi should apologise to the people of Bihar and UP or else people will give him an answer."
Kamal Nath was sworn in as Madhya Pradesh chief minister yesterday after his Congress party ended the BJP's 15-year-old rule last week. The 72-year-old's first move after taking charge was to sign off on farm loan waiver. Farmers' loans of up to Rs 2 lakh from nationalized and cooperative banks will be written off.