With elections in Bihar nine months away, BJP chief Nitin Gadkari has realized the issue of migration to big cities can be a prickly subject for his party.
Gadkari met Delhi BJP MLAs on Wednesday and raised the issue of migration to cities, particularly Delhi and Mumbai. He expressed concern at how it was putting pressure on the city’s infrastructure.
However, he had to clarify that he was not pointing a finger at migrants from any particular states.
Gadkari was advised by BJP leaders to issue the clarification as media reports in Bihar showed him as disapproving such migration.
The BJP in Bihar, with JD(U), is seeking to come back to power under chief minister Nitish Kumar. Leaders from the state feared rivals could whip up a controversy against the party over this issue.
Being from Maharashtra, where violence directed at migrants from Bihar and UP by Raj Thackeray’s MNS invited condemnation, Gadkari too said he wanted to pre-empt any misinterpretation.
“I did not criticise any migration from any state. Besides, it is the constitutional right of every citizen to freely move and settle where he wishes,” he had said.
Gadkari clarified he had only suggested that the Centre should try to expand the infrastructutre in the cities to cope up with expected rise in their population by 2025.
“We need a national discussion for finding a way out of this situation,” he had said, adding the Centre’s policies were to blame for the situation.