Gadkari criticises Shiv Sena, MNS' regionalism

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New Delhi, Feb 01 (ANI): Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Nitin Gadkari on Monday criticised the regionalism being propagated by Shiv Sena and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) in Maharashtra state.

Speaking to mediapersons here, Gadkari said, the constitution granted every Indian the Right to reside and settle in any part of the country, and his party opposes any sort of discrimination, as it hampers national unity.

Arguing that Indians from all parts of the country held the Right to Live anywhere within Indian borders, Gadkari said BJP was only opposed to special status to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370.

"Under article 19 (1) (e) that all Indians shall have 'the right to reside and settle in any part in the territory of India' aids and enables national unity and integration. It is on the basis of this principle that we have always opposed article 370 in the context of Jammu and Kashmir as an impediment in national unity," he said.

On Sunday, the BJP's ideological parent, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) had asked its activists to protect north Indian immigrants from attacks in Maharashtra.

Gadkari reinforced the RSS view on the Maharashtra issue.

He also said there was no conflict between regional and national identities and his party did not believe in discrimination on this basis.

"We respect as a ground reality that at a regional level there is tradition, heritage and language identity. But there is no conflict between regional and national identity," Gadkari said.

"And so, we do not believe in any linguistic, religious or regional identity that discriminates or differentiates," he added.

He said BJP recognised the presence of different cultures and languages in India.

"BJP believes that there may be different languages and costumes in various states) but it is one country," Gadkari said,

"Presence of any language, regional or religious identity in a place is also a fact in India...This is also the strength of India," he added.

Gadkari maintained that Shiv Sena was an alliance partner and since both were independent parties, they could have differences over various issues. (ANI)

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