Union Textile Minister Smriti Irani on Friday said that diversity was the biggest strength of the country. Her statement comes at a time when the BJP and Congress are at loggerheads over an exodus of migrants from Uttar Pradesh leaving Gujarat. Irani is a Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament from Gujarat. The Union minister made the remark on the sidelines of an event in Nirona village of Kutch. A large number of Hindi speaking labourers have left Gujarat in recent past days. It comes after the arrest of a 19-year-worker from Bihar who allegedly abducted and raped a 14-month-old girl in Sabarkantha district on September 28.

So far, the Gujarat Police have registered filed dozens of FIRs and arrested hundreds of people for the alleged assault on migrants. On October 13, the Gujarat Police filed a case against Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and Congress MLA Alpesh Thakor in connection with attacks on north India. The Congress legislator had publicly blamed a non-Gujarati for the crime. He belongs to Thakor community and the victim girl also hails from the same community.

The Congress MLA on October 11 observed a day-long fast in Ahmedabad for peace and harmony in the state, amid an exodus of migrants from Hindi-speaking states.

Several districts in Gujarat including Gandhinagar, Ahmedabad, Patan, Sabarkantha and Mehsana saw protests against migrants workers working in local factories. Meanwhile, the BJP has blamed the Congress for prevailing situation in Gujarat. The party also demanded the Congress to take action against its legislator Alpesh Thakor.

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