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Modi praises Mumbai & its migrants after Kamal Nath talked of job quota for locals

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Kamal Nath said migrants from UP and Bihar have snatched jobs of locals in MP, a remark that has drawn sharp criticism from various leaders.

Mumbai: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Tuesday praised Mumbai and Thane for accepting migrants and praised their contribution to the country, a day after newly-sworn in Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath evoked strong reactions from across parties after promising a 70 per cent quota for locals in industrial jobs.

Modi was speaking at Kalyan, a satellite town of Mumbai in the Thane district. The PM performed ground-breaking ceremonies for two Metro railway projects and 90,000 houses under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region.

“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,” Modi said.

“The people born here and living here have a big heart to give place to people who come from outside…Those who come to Mumbai become a part of the city and the Marathi culture.”

Also read: Modi inaugurates Rs 33,000 crore metro, low-cost housing projects in Mumbai

‘Local vs outsider’ debate

Modi’s praise for migrants and migrant-magnet cities comes a day after Congress CM Nath on his first day in office said that schemes incentivising industries will be imposed only after giving 70 per cent jobs to locals in Madhya Pradesh. He said many from states such as Uttar Pradesh and Bihar come to MP for jobs and while he does not want to blame anyone, this deprives locals of opportunities.

Nath’s statement drew sharp criticism from leaders across Uttar Pradesh, Bihar as well as Madhya Pradesh, including BJP’s Giriraj Singh, Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Narendra Singh Tomar and Kailash Vijayvargiya.

Speaking at Kalyan, Modi, however, said that the constant stream of migrants has stressed the city’s infrastructure, its transportation systems and the suburban railway. He said keeping this in mind, the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre has given special attention to Mumbai’s infrastructure needs, allocating hundreds of crores to the Mumbai suburban railway and the Metro projects.

Modi slammed Maharashtra’s previous Congress-NCP-led government for planning Mumbai’s first Metro railway line of 11.4 km in 2006, but completing it only eight years later.

“We decided to improve the speed and scale. In the next three years, 35-km Metro will be added. Between 2022 and 2024, Mumbai residents will get Metro rail line of 275 km,” Modi said.

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  1. Internal migration binds us more closely as a nation. If anything, India’s pace of urbanisation has to quicken, with special care being taken to provide low cost housing and better infrastructure.

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