'Why should we strike work?'

North Indian associations condemn Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam's recent pro-migrant comment; dismiss it as a political stunt

It appears that North Indians are in no mood to be part of a political tug-of-war. Not long ago, some political outfits had targeted north Indians in the city, and a host of others came forward in support, leading to chaos on the streets.

Politically Speaking: At a rally in Nagpur, Congress leader Sanjay
Nirupam had said that Mumbai functions normally only because of
migrant workers. File pic pic

However, this time the citizens seem to be a tad wary of the vote bank politics. It all started, when Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam, while addressing a rally in Nagpur, stated, "If the migrants from North India decide to stop work for a day, Mumbai will come to a grinding halt. It is only because of these migrant workers that this city functions normally."

As usual, Nirupam's statements were heavily criticised by local parties, who slammed him for his speech. However, what is surprising is that even the North Indian associations in the city have criticised Nirupam for his statement, dismissing it as a mere publicity stunt.

Losing ground?
According to Uday Pratap Singh, a part of Uttar, an association formed by migrants from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, Nirupam never raised his voice when it mattered the most. Moreover, he has lost his importance in the Congress and his statements are a ploy to seek attention.

"No migrant from UP and Bihar would be calling for a strike or stoping work. Most people from the north, who work here, live hand to mouth. So if they go on a strike, no one is going to pay them. Besides, Nirupam is someone who doesn't have a stronghold in the North Indian community in the city. Hence his statements hold no value," said Singh.

Munna Tripathi of Uttar Bhartiya Vikas Parishad, another association of North Indians, stated that Nirupam is following the ideology of divide and rule.

"When everything is peaceful, there's no need for Nirupam to make such comments. It will be better if no one pays attention to such remarks. Only those who want to play politics at the expense of others will make such comments. Moreover, after such comments are made, it's the poor who face the public ire, while politicians are safe," he said.

The assurance
Apart from criticising Nirupam, these organisations have assured that there won't be any protest or agitation from their side. "No one is going to participate in any form of protest or strike, why should we do it? People from our community have come here to work and live a life, which they do not get back at home. We live here in peace and harmony and will continue to do so," said Singh.

The other side
Sanjay Nirupam said, "People alleging that I have no right to make such statements should correct themselves. I was at an event for North Indians and hence, I had to say things that are related to the community. And whatever I said, is correct."

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