The exodus of migrants from Gujarat following incidents of violence against people from north Indian states, especially, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh, has now sparked a polical blame game with both Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party indulging in a war of words over the crisis that has gripped the state. Matters went from bad to worse when Congress president Rahul Gandhi and Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani began trading charges over accountability for the current scenario.
While the Congress president linked the exodus of migrants to the poor economic policies of the government and declining number of jobs, CM Rupani said that it was Congress that first incited the violence against the migrants.
“There is no big disaster than poverty. The root cause of violence in Gujarat is a fallout of factories that are shut and rising unemployment. The whole system and the economy is shattered,” Rahul said in a tweet. “Targeting the migrants is wrong. I am opposed to this,” he added.
Rupani shot back alleging that it is the Congress that is responsible for the current situation. He said that if the Congress president is really concerned about the prevailing condition, he should take action against his party leaders who are fueling violence against the migrants.
“Congress first incites violence against Migrants. Congress President tweets to condemn this violence. Does the Congress President not have any shame? If the Congress President is against the violence in Gujarat, he needs to take action against its own members who incited violence against the migrants in Gujarat. Tweeting is not the solution, taking action is! But will he act?” he said in a tweet.
Watch Video: Alpesh Thakor’s close aide confesses involvement of Congress
The CM’s remark came in reference to a report based on a sting operation conducted by Republic which claimed that Congress MLA Alpesh Thakor’s close aide Jagat Thakor allegedly confessed that some Congress workers were involved in inciting violence against the migrants. Also, a video of Alpesh’s provocative speech just a few days before the violence has also come under the scanner of police. In his speech, Alpesh said that people from outside come to Gujarat and commit crime. Besides, he also said that outsiders should be blamed for rising unemployment among the Gujaratis.
Rejecting the allegations levelled by the BJP, Thakor said he was being targetted as part of a planned conspiracy.
“I am not denying this completely.. there are 2.5 crore Thakor people in Gujarat, some might be involved but they have not beaten anyone. Even if they have threatened anyone, this is wrong. This is conspiracy against me and my people, attempts are being made to defame us.”
Watch Video: Alpesh Thakor speaks
The CM, on the other hand, added that his government is working hard to ensure trust and confidence among the people. He said the security will be provided to every individual and appealed to the migrants to return. “We are working hard to ensure trust and confidence among all citizens that they are safe and secure in Gujarat, instead of indulging in blame game,” he said.
In another tweet, Rupani said: “Congress president needs to be ashamed of tweeting this when his own party is inciting violence against migrants.”
Watch Video: Vijay Rupani appeals for peace
On Monday, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath spoke to Rupani over the phone and asked him to take action against those who are involved in violence against non-Gujaratis. Migrants especially from these two states and also from Madhya Pradesh have come under attack from locals after a 14-month-old girl was allegedly raped by a 53-year-old man from Bihar.
When news about the crime was circulated within the Gujarati community, several people, mostly linked to Thakor, allegedly attacked the migrants and threatened them to leave the state. So far, thousands of people from these states have fled the western state.
Meanwhile, according to government data, 35 FIRs have been filed in connection with the violence against migrants and over 450 have been taken into custody by the police. As per claims by an outfit of north Indians in Gujarat, at least 50,000 migrants have fled the state following violence and threats.