Under fire over UP-Bihar migrants comment, Kamal Nath reiterates 'locals first' pitch; claims it happens in every state

On Wednesday, Madhya Pradesh chief minister Kamal Nath reiterated his 'locals first' pitch with regard to state industries, News18 reported.

Nath, who was criticised by the Opposition and even his allies on Tuesday for his comments on migrants from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, was addressing several senior police officials. "Locals should get preference. It happens in Gujarat and every other state," Nath said. He also spoke about the need for modernising the police force. A case was also filed against Nath in a Muzaffarpur court on Wednesday.

After taking charge on 17 December, Nath told reporters his government will incentivise industries that give 70 percent jobs to locals in Madhya Pradesh. He also claimed that people from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar got employment in the state at the cost of the local population.

The BJP and its ally JD(U) slammed 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 Samajwadi Party and the Congress ally RJD expressing their disapproval.

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)."

 Under fire over UP-Bihar migrants comment, Kamal Nath reiterates locals first pitch; claims it happens in every state

File image of Madhya Pradesh chief minister Kamal Nath. PTI

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

The BJP leader said the Congress leader was born in Kanpur, studied in West Bengal 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.

Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, who was a Congress ally in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls in 2017, 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.

In a protest over his statement against migrants, workers of Delhi BJP's Purvnachal Morcha Tuesday staged an agitation outside the chief minister's residence in Delhi. The protesters gathered outside Nath's residence on Tughlaq Road, Delhi and raised slogans demanding that he should apologise to people of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

The BJP leader said the Congress leader was born in Kanpur, studied in West Bengal 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.

"It seems Nath immediately forgot the Constitution of which he took oath as a chief minister," said Manish Singh, president of Delhi BJP's Purvanchal Morcha.

"The Constitution allows people of the country to go and settle in any part of the country and take up any livelihood means of their choice," Singh said.

With inputs from PTI

Updated Date: Dec 19, 2018 17:40:37 IST