In a stand that may widen the rift with Shiv Sena over the issue of North Indians living in Maharashtra, BJP President Nitin Gadkari on Monday said there was no conflict between regional and national identities and his party did not believe in discrimination on this basis.
Arguing that Indians from all parts of the country had a right to live anywhere within Indian borders, Gadkari said BJP was only opposed to special status to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370.
Gadkari reinforced the RSS view on the Maharashtra issue.
"We respect as a ground reality that at a regional level there is tradition, heritage and language identity. But there is no conflict between regional and national identity.
"And so, we do not believe in any linguistic, religious or regional identity that discriminates or differentiates," the BJP President said.
He said BJP recognised the presence of different cultures and languages in India.
"BJP believes that there may be different languages and costumes (in various states) but it is one country," Gadkari said, adding, "Presence of any language, regional or religious identity in a place is also a fact in India...This is also the strength of India."
Gadkari maintained that Shiv Sena was an alliance partner and since both were independent parties, they could have differences over various issues.
The RSS and Sena are on a collision course over the migrants issue with Bal Thackeray's party telling the Sangh, which said Mumbai is for all Indians, that the western metropolis belongs to Marathis only.