Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, Kamal Nath, recently stated that jobs offered to the people of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh is the major reason for unemployment in Madhya Pradesh. He also emphasized that only those industries would be given financial incentives by MP government, whose 70% employees are from the home state.
This exclusionary rhetoric against the people from UP and Bihar drew sharp criticism cutting across party lines especially from the politicians and political parties of UP and Bihar. Samajwadi Party’s Chief and former CM of Uttar Pradesh Akhilesh Yadav’s statement was the most critical one where he said, “It was wrong to blame people from north India in this manner”. Samajwadi Party was not the only one from the supposed ‘Mahagathbandhan’ to condemn the statement. RJD’s national vice-president Shivanand Tiwary said, “The trend of targeting Biharis is not good for democracy”. Former Union Minister and RLSP chief Upendra Kushwaha, who recently left NDA and is likely to join Mahagathbandhan, said, “Biharis are not a burden on anybody; still they are insulted wherever they go. But the fact is that they contribute to the progress of that region”.
Although most of the parties of Mahagathbandhan criticized Kamal Nath’s statement but no politician from UP and Bihar took any concrete steps to chastise the Congress party. Akhilesh Yadav of Samajwadi Party and Mayawati of Bahujan Samaj Party chose to do away with soft criticism of the Congress instead of taking any real step to pressurize Kamal Nath, which, as a crucial coalition partner in Madhya Pradesh, is well within the power of Mayawati and BSP. But instead, BSP is silent on the matter. It is a shame for the BSP and the SP that they are supporting the Congress in running government in MP, in spite of the fact that the people of their homeland are slammed by no less than the CM of the other state.
It clearly signifies the lack of will in Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati who have kept supporting the Congress party in the state. BSP holds the key to run the government in Madhya Pradesh. In the assembly election of MP, the Congress party won 114 seats, 2 seats short of the magic number of 116. The Bahujan Samaj Party of Mayawati won 2 seats in the election and extended support to the Congress party. Essentially, without the support of Mayawati, Kamal Nath would not have been able to form a stable government with majority numbers. If BSP is really concerned about the people of UP and Bihar, now is the time to do something. BSP and SP should withdraw their support and teach Congress a lesson. It is not only Kamal Nath’s statement but the arrogance of the Congress party which is mocking the people of Bihar and UP.
BJP leaders have strongly condemned his statement. Union minister Ashwini Kumar Chowbey said, “He is spreading poison in the minds of people. Congress has again sown the seed of hatred in the name of region, caste, community and religion”. Bihar BJP president Nityanad Rai tweeted, “The statement is highly condemnable. Barely in two days, the party has shown its arrogance and real character.”
Meanwhile, the Congress President Rahul Gandhi’s tacit approval to Kamal Nath’s statement will probably lead to the kind of harassment people of UP and Bihar face in Maharashtra owing to the similar toxic rhetoric of Raj Thackeray. Have the political opportunism and an elusive seat at the Mahagathbandhan table become so irresistible that Mayawati is ready to sacrifice the people of her own state? The answer to this question will not only decide the future of Mayawati in UP’s electoral politics but also the fate of hundreds of thousands of people from UP living in Madhya Pradesh and probably in other Congress ruled states as well.
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