Patna/Siwan, Jan. 11: Nitish Kumar today blamed the Congress for fuelling Raj Thackeray’s renewed tirade against north Indian migrants, including those from Bihar, saying the party was allowing the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief to get away with such hate speeches to reap political dividends in the civic poll-bound western state.
“Strong action should be taken on the uncalled-for utterances (by Thackeray) with the dangerous potential to divide the country,” the Bihar chief minister said in Patna while leaving for the 10th leg of his Seva Yatra in north Bihar’s Siwan district. “Inflammatory statements should not be made to derive political mileage in elections.” Polls to municipal corporations in Maharashtra are scheduled next month.
Nitish squarely blamed the Congress for the MNS leader’s “irresponsible” remarks on north Indians earning a living in Mumbai. “Maharashtra has a Congress-led government which should have acted sternly against such elements. But the Maharashtra government has deliberately been encouraging such elements to reap political harvest,” the chief minister said.
Without naming the MNS chief, Nitish said his (Raj’s) threats would not frighten the people of Bihar and those from other parts of north and east India working in Mumbai. “Mumbai belongs to all Indians who have a right to settle there and pursue a vocation of their liking,” he said.
The chief minister was, however, quick to point out that job opportunities had improved in Bihar and hence fewer people from the state were moving out in search of employment.
He also took potshots at Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for saying malnutrition was a shame. “The Centre should trust state governments and make plans keeping in mind the needs of different states. It is unfortunate that the Prime Minister has to admit the prevalence of malnutrition in the country after so many years of Independence. The Centre must arrange for funds to find a solution,” he said.