Madhya Pradesh CM Kamal Nath’s comments on jobs for locals have received flak, with Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav calling his move ‘wrong’.
New Delhi: Newly-elected Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath’s remarks on migrants snatching jobs from locals could spell trouble for the Congress, with the issue irking its prospective allies.
On Monday, soon after taking charge, Nath announced a farm loan waiver and said more jobs will be created for locals as they had been deprived of employment due to the presence of “outsiders” from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
His statement drew sharp criticism from opposition parties, which said the Congress was indulging in divisive politics.
Former UP chief minister and Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav told reporters Tuesday, “This is wrong. It should not have happened. This is a wrong decision… First people from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar were targeted in Maharashtra and now same in happening in Madhya Pradesh. This is unfortunate.”
The Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), too, slammed Nath’s decision. According to a senior party leader, the move can “sour the relationship (with the Congress)” and has the potential to impact the grand alliance for 2019.
The issue gains significance as the Congress is trying to forge an alliance with the SP and the Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), two key players in Uttar Pradesh, ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
On Tuesday, Congress president Rahul Gandhi said he was not aware of Nath’s scheme. “I will discuss this issue, I am not aware of this. I will study this issue, I have just been informed about it,” he said.
A number of party leaders said that a rethink on the issue is likely.
Modi & migrants
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, speaking in Maharashtra’s Kalyan Tuesday, praised Mumbai and Thane for accepting migrants and praised their contribution to the country: “Mumbai and Thane are places that have helped the country’s dreams come true. Common people from small villages have come here and earned a name for themselves.”
“The people born here and living here have a big heart to give place to people who come from outside…” the PM said.
Nath had said that incentives under the state’s industrial policy would be given only to those industries that employ 70 per cent local people.