Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Wednesday took an indirect dig at Narendra Modi for remarks of a Gujarat minister linking migration from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh to surge in the number of poor in state over the last decade.
“I wonder what type of government will come up at the Centre… Such comments were heard in Maharashtra but now they have started coming from Gujarat,” Kumar said in his reaction to Gujarat Finance Minister Nitin Patel’s remarks blaming migrants from Bihar and UP for the rise in number of poor families in the state.
Lambasting Patel for blaming the migrants from Bihar and UP for the rise in poverty figure in Gujarat in recent years, Kumar claimed that on contrary the economic development in both Gujarat and Maharashtra have been made possible because of the hard work of migrants from the two hinterland states.
He denied that migrants from the two states were not responsible for poverty in Gujarat or Maharashtra. Patel had on Tuesday said that the number of people coming under BPL criterion has gone up in Gujarat due to migration from other states.
Meanwhile, senior BJP leader and former deputy Chief Minister of Bihar Sushil Kumar Modi came to Patel’s rescue and said that the Gujarat minister’s comments were twisted out of context. Patel never meant to say that the migrants from Bihar were responsible for the rise in the number of BPL cardholders in Gujarat, Modi claimed.
The Gujarat minister was merely replying to a question where he was asked whether migrant labourers from Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Odisha have been issued BPL cards upon their stay for works. Patel in his reply had said that it was true, Modi said. The former deputy chief minister said that more than ten lakh migrant labourers from Bihar were working in industrial units of Gujarat and they were being treated with respect and given all the facilities.
He, however, alleged that Bihari migrants have been insulted and subjected to atrocities in Congress-ruled states like Maharashtra and Assam and because of that many were forced to shift to other states.