Amid a war of words with the Shiv Sena over the issue of migrants in Mumbai, the BJP and RSS on Monday said there should be no discrimination against North Indians in Maharashtra and no party should create a divide for the sake of political gain.
"What the RSS has said (that North Indians should be protected in Maharashtra) is absolutely correct. All over India, every countryman has rights and all political parties should respect this basic feeling among all Indians," BJP vice-president Shanta Kumar said.
He said political parties should keep in mind that "just for politics, we should not divide the country".
RSS on Sunday said it would protect North Indians living in Maharashtra, a contention that brought the chasm between BJP and Shiv Sena, its ally in the state, out in the open.
Shiv Sena and Raj Thackeray-led MNS have repeatedly targeted North Indians working in Maharashtra.
Another senior RSS leader Sheshadari Chari today echoed the views of organsation's Chief Mohan Bhagwat on the issue.
"Every Indian should be protected everywhere, not only on Indian soil but also outside it. If Indians are attacked in Australia, even there they require to be protected. So it is not a question of North Indians being protected in Maharashtra and South Indians being protected in Delhi," he said.
Sheshadri insisted that RSS was opposed to this idea of "segregating the people on basis of community, caste, religion or language" as it amounts to dividing them.
Responding to Bhagwat's remarks, Sena leader Manohar Joshi had yesterday said, "The time has come to remind RSS that Mumbai belongs to Marathi people only."