Chief Minister Kamal Nath on Tuesday faced intense criticism from the BJP, SP and RJD for declaring that only those Madhya Pradesh industries can avail incentives that employ 70 per cent locals, claiming presence of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh migrants deprived local youth of employment opportunities.
While Congress President Rahul Gandhi declined to comment on the issue saying he was “unaware” of the issue, the Centre’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) gunned for him and Kamal Nath, accusing the Congress of indulging in “divisive politics”.
“I am not aware about the issue. I have now been informed (about it) and I will study it and only then respond,” Gandhi told the media here when asked to respond on the issue.
Taking strong umbrage to Kamal Nath’s assertions, BJP national General Secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya accused the Congress of playing divisive politics.
“Kamal Nath was born in Uttar Pradesh and it doesn’t suit him to speak against people of the state where he was born. It is unfortunate that the Congress is indulging in divisive politics seeking to pit one region against the other,” said Vijayvargiya.
Union Minister Giriraj Singh also demanded Kamal Nath’s and Gandhi’s apology.
“I want to ask the Congress whether they believe in federalism or not, Both Kamal Nath and Rahul Gandhi must apologise to the nation particularly to the people of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh for this,” said Singh.
Even non-BJP parties like the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) criticised the new Chief Minister.
“What Kamal Nath has said is very wrong. First people from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar were targeted in Maharashtra and now same is happening in Madhya Pradesh, this is unfortunate,” SP supremo and former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav said.
RJD leader Manoj Jha was also critical of the Chief Minister.
“If what Kamal Nath said is true then the remarks are very unfortunate. Such things destroy the very idea of India and reflect a narrow political mindset. I would urge the Congress leaders to refrain from saying such things,” said the RJD spokesperson.
Addressing the media after taking over as the Chief Minister, Kamal Nath had said: “The incentives that we give, can be availed by the industries only when the 70 per cent of the employment is local, from Madhya Pradesh.
“There are many industries where people from others states are employed, from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh… I am not criticising them but our youth from Madhya Pradesh are denied jobs.
“So industries which employ 70 per cent local youth will only be able to avail the incentives,” he had said on Monday.