Shivraj Singh's Chouhan's statement angers Bihar politicians

It was predictable. The moment TV channels showed Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan saying that Bihari workers and labourers shouldn't get jobs in Madhya Pradesh, there was a sense of outrage in Bihar and other parts of the country.

Chouhan reportedly said, 'This can't happen that the factory is set up in Satna, but the employees would come from Bihar (and UP)'. As BJP and the JDU are allies in Bihar, and a national party can't afford to upset entire state, Chouhan retracted.

He clarified that what he meant was 'priority for locals' in jobs. By then the damage had been done though. Bihar leaders like Lalu Prasad Yadav, Ram Vilas Paswan and even Nitish Kumar had reacted angrily.

Chouhan was described as another avatar of MNS supremo Raj Thackeray in the newspapers on the next day. It is equally true that India is no banana republic. Today it's states and regionalism.

Tomorrow it could go to districts. There may be campaings that those from Sehore and Vidisha should not come to Bhopal or those from Bhopal not welcome in Hoshangabad and Bina.

This is not just bad for the unity and integrity of the nation but also goes against the spirit of the constitution. Good that the issue seems to be over and there is no further hue and cry over the statement after Chouhan went back on his words.

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