New Delhi: After taking charge as the chief minister of Madhya Pradesh, trouble started brewing for Congress’s Kamal Nath.

Not only did his swearing-in trigger protests among the Sikh community because of his alleged involvement in the 1984 pogrom, Nath invited controversy by saying that ‘outsiders’ from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh are taking away jobs in Madhya Pradesh.

In his first announcements as CM, Nath struck up a controversy by blaming ‘outsiders’ (people of UP and Bihar) for taking away jobs in the state and announcing incentives for anyone who employs men from Madhya Pradesh. 

"Lot of industries are set up in which people from other states, like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, come to work. I don't want to criticise them, but the young people of Madhya Pradesh remain deprived," Nath said.

He announced that schemes providing incentives of investment would only be imposed after 70% of people from the state get employment. 

“Our schemes of providing incentives of investment will only be imposed after 70% people from MP get employment. People from states like Bihar and UP come here and local people don't get jobs. I have signed the file for this," Nath said at his first press conference as CM yesterday. 

The Delhi high court on Monday convicted Congress leader Sajjan Kumar in a case related to the 1984 anti-Sikh riots and sentenced him to life imprisonment. The Congress’s decision to make Nath the CM triggered protests among the Sikh community because has been accused of leading a mob outside the Rakabganj gurdwara during the 1984 pogrom. Nath had, however, denied his complicity in the violence. 

Nath, who himself is an ‘outsider’, hailing from Kanpur, has spared no time in spreading seeds of regionalism, briefly after becoming the CM of the state. This is eerily similar to the sectarian politics of Raj Thackeray, who is known for his opposition to North Indians. 

Thackeray is perhaps best known for his hostility towards North Indians, especially those living in Mumbai, and spreading fear among them. He once said that they have ‘no self-respect’, and he vehemently opposed people from UP, Bihar, Jharkhand, and Bangladesh migrating to Mumbai.

Nath’s remarks on the people of UP and Bihar for ‘stealing’ jobs in Madhya Pradesh attracted a lot of flak from people because he himself was born and brought up in Uttar Pradesh. 

A Twitter user took a jab at Nath saying that he himself was the ‘outsider’ from Uttar Pradesh who had snatched the job of a local, Jyotiraditya Scindia, the Congress leader who was pipped to the post by Nath in the race to the chief minister's post.