Ahmedabad: Congress MLA Alpesh Thakor, amidst allegations of inciting violence in Gujarat, spoke out on the mass exodus of migrant workers of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh from the state. The MLA asserted that the labourers are moving out of the state because of Chhath Puja.

Talking to news agency ANI, Thakor said, “In fact 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. (sic)”

Earlier, Neeraj Kumar, Janata Dal (United) Member of Legislative Council (MLC) sent a two-page open letter to Congress President Rahul Gandhi, blaming his party for the violence against Biharis. “You appointed your Gujarat MLA Alpesh Thakor as one of the national secretaries in-charge of Bihar and his outfit Gujarat Kshatriya Thakor Sena is driving out migrant Biharis,” Kumar alleged in the letter.

The incidents of sporadic violence against migrant workers from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar in Gujarat, followed by mass exodus by thousands of them has led to a crisis situation in the state.

The attacks over non-Gujarati speaking migrant workers have intensified in the state following the arrest of a native of Bihar over the rape of a 14-year-old by him. Also, the migrants allege that they have been threatened to leave the state or face consequences.

However, the state government claims that the incidents of violence have decreased in the last two days. Assuring security to migrants, it said 431 people were arrested and 56 FIRs registered in connection with the attacks.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani appealed to people not to engage in violence. Claiming that no untoward incident had taken place during the last 48 hours, Rupani said the situation has been brought under control by police.