Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and ally Janata Dal (United), or JD(U), leaders on Monday accused Gujarat Congress legislator Alpesh Thakor of fuelling the attacks on migrant workers, but the Congress said the attacks were a result of Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani having recently said that 80 per cent of all jobs in the state should be reserved for the people of the state.
“We are committed to maintaining law and order, and people can call the police in case of trouble. We will provide them security,” Rupani said in Rajkot. Chief Ministers of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar - Yogi Adityanath and Nitish Kumar - and Union Minister and BJP ally Ram Vilas Paswan, who hails from Bihar, spoke to Rupani to voice their concerns over the attacks.
Since the alleged rape of a 14-month-old girl in Sabarkantha district on September 28, six districts, most of them in north Gujarat, have witnessed sporadic incidents of violence against Hindi-speaking people. The state government has deployed additional security forces in industrial areas in Gujarat for the safety of migrants. It said 431 people have been arrested and 56 first information reports registered in connection with the attacks on Hindi-speaking people.
The Congress said the attacks were evidence of the “failure” of the so-called ‘Gujarat model’ of governance. Congress President Rahul Gandhi said the root cause of violence in Gujarat is the closure of factories and unemployment. “Making migrant labour their target is completely wrong. I stand totally against it,” Gandhi tweeted.
Uttar Bharatiya Vikas Parishad President Maheshsingh Kushwah claimed that over 20,000 people belonging to Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and Bihar had already fled Gujarat. JD(U) leader Neeraj Kumar sent a letter to the Congress chief accusing Gujarat Congress MLA Alpesh Thakor and his Gujarat Kshatriya Thakor Sena for driving out migrant Biharis.