NEW DELHI: Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati on Tuesday targetted Prime Minister Narendra Modi and said that those who voted for him in Varanasi are facing the exodus in Gujarat.
"It is sad that people who voted and made Modi ji win from Varanasi are being targeted in Gujarat. The BJP government in Gujarat should ensure that strict action is taken against those responsible for such attacks," the BSP said.
She said that Gujarat government should take strict action against those involved in the incident because north Indians are "not foreigners". "There is no point of accusing each other. North Indians are not foreigners; they are citizens of our country. I appeal to the Gujarat government to take stringent action against the accused instead of doing politics on this matter," she said.
Non-Gujaratis, especially those from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar were allegedly attacked after a native of Bihar was arrested on accusations of raping a 14-month-old girl in Sabarkantha district in Gujarat. Subsequently, due to the violence, many started to leaving the state around October 5-6.
Voicing her concern over the Gujarat incident after paying floral tribute to BSP founder Kanshi Ram on his death anniversary, Mayawati further said: "It is sad that people who voted and made Modi ji win from Varanasi are being targeted in Gujarat. The BJP government in Gujarat should ensure that strict action is taken against those responsible for such attacks."
Meanwhile, Congress MLA Alpesh Thakor who is under the scanner for allegedly inciting mob violence defended himself saying that workers were not fleeing the state but returning home for Chhath Puja.
"The truth is that people from Bihar have already applied for leave for Chhath Puja. This is the only reason they are moving to their state," Thakor said.
A 200-strong mob, allegedly led by Thakor Sena members, stormed a factory near Vadnagar town of Mehsana district on October 2 and thrashed employees. Similar incidents took place in Mehsana, Gandhinagar, Sabarkantha, Patan and Ahmedabad districts in the last one week, said Director General of Police Shivanand Jha.