Biharis not a burden: Nitish Kumar

5 years ago | 16-04-2012 | IBNS

Mumbai, Apr 16 : Reacting to anti-north Indian stand of Raj Thackeray's Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said people from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar are 'not a burden' to anyone and that Mumbai belongs to every Indian.

"People from Bihar, Uttar Pradesh are not a burden on anyone. Biharis are hardworking and dedicated people. In fact, they contribute to the development of the state or city they live in," Nitish said while celebrating 'Bihar Diwas' in Mumbai late Sunday.

"Biharis have travelled to other countries as well. Look at Mauritius. More than half the population is of Bihari origin. All of us should be proud of our ancestors, who worked so hard. Biharis earn their bread and butter by working hard. They never lie or ditch others," he said.

"I don't understand why problems arise sometimes. We are all Indians. We have to work together for the progress and development of our country and face all the pressing issues."

"Mumbai is a part of India and it belongs to every Indian. Every people of the country is proud ot if," he said.

He said percentage of migration from Bihar has reduced.

"In Punjab, there are less migrant farm labourers from Bihar and now farmers there (Punjab) are complaining," he said.

Showering praises on Maharashtra, Nitish said he would like to learn Marathi and proposed grand Maharashtra Day celebrations in Bihar.

"Maharashtra has always treated people of Bihar with respect. People of Maharashtra are so good. The Bihar Diwas festival has been organised to strengthen the ties between people of Maharashtra and Bihar," he said as the celebrations kick-started with popular Marathi song 'Jai Jai Maharashtra Majha'.

He started his speech in Marathi and said: "Marathi is a sweet language and I will like to learn it."

"I would like to see Bihar celebrate Maharashtra Day the same way Maharashtra organizes Bihar Diwas," he said at the centenary celebration of the foundation of his state.

Saying that Bihar and Maharashtra have many similarities, Nitish said: "Both the states are the lands of saints and progressive thinkers, social reformers. From Bihar we have Lord Buddha, Mahavir, Aryabhatta and Chankaya, while Maharashtra has given us Dr BR Ambedkar, Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj, Shivaji Maharaj and Mahatma Phule."

"The freedom struggle began in a way with the Champaran satyagraha. And, it was in Mumbai that Quit India movement was kick-started."

He said Bihar is progressing as a state.

"Bihar is changing. We are no longer lagging behind, but moving ahead. I want to create a Bihar from where people won't have to migrate to another city for earning his bread."

Speaking on women development, he said: "You see over 50 per cent women in local bodies now."

Saying that crime rates in the state is declining, the CM said: "We implemented the rule of law. In the last six years, over 70,000 criminals have been punished."

Earlier, Nitish met top corporate leaders in Mumbai inviting them to invest in the north Indian state.

Kumar urged the corporate leaders to take advantage of the industrial policy announced by his government in 2011.

"Bihar has tremendous business opportunities in sectors such as solar energy, education and healthcare," Nitish told the industrialists.

According to reports, Bharat Forge Group chief Baba Kalyanai, Vedanta Group chairman Anil Agarwal, , Axis Bank's chief Shikha Sharma ICICI Bank's CMD Chanda Kochhar attended the hour-long meeting on Sunday.

The industrial policy that was announced by the Bihar government had focused on areas like agro-based industries, power, food processing, tourism, IT, technical and higher education,super speciality hospitals, electronics, non-conventional sources of energy and hardware.

The policy also provided a subsidy grant of 50 percent in case of establishing captive power plants and a subsidy of 60 percent for non-conventional sources of energy.

Kumar arrived in Mumbai on Saturday to to take part in 'Bihar Diwas' celebrations in the city, a day after MNS chief Raj Thackeray toned down his threat to disrupt the event to be held on Sunday.

The Chief Minister visit to Mumbai had sparked a row with Thackeray warning against celebrating Bihar Diwas in Mumbai even as Nitish retorted that he was well within his rights and did not need a 'visa' to visit the city.