Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan has drawn flak for allegedly saying “outsiders” particularly Biharis were not welcome in the State.

The CM, speaking at a “Gharib Utthan” (poverty upliftment) rally in Satna, reportedly made ethnocentric remarks saying employment opportunities, government as well as private, in the State are for locals only and not outsiders like Biharis.

The statements need to be seen in the wake of the Madhya Pradesh foundation day, celebrations for which went on for a week concluding Saturday.

Shivraj and other BJP leaders have been emphasizing on the need to build a strong Madhya Pradesh identity like Gujarat and Maharashtra.

Before the CM’s PR department could initiate damage control, Shivraj had already received livid reactions from RJD’s Lalu Prasad Yadav and Bihar CM Nitish Kumar, with the latter condemning his remarks as anti-constitutional in a written letter, saying “every Indian has the fundamental right to seek employment anywhere in the country.”

This made the CM backtrack on his statements saying he meant at least 50 % jobs should be given on a priority basis to M.P. locals.

The CM’s remarks have been criticized as being ethnocentric and opponents, including the Congress, have said that the BJP is towing the Shiv-Sena line by using the anti-outsider rhetoric.