Ahmedabad: The Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have blamed each other for creating an atmosphere of fear among the Hindi-speaking people in Gujarat, which has led to the mass exodus of migrant workers from the state.

Over the last few days, 50,000 migrant workers from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar have reportedly fled the state after they were attacked by locals, following the arrest of a labourer from Bihar for the rape of a toddler in Sabarkantha district on 28 September.

The attacks took place after hate messages against non-Gujaratis were circulated on social media platforms such as WhatsApp. Violence was reported from across Mehsana, Sabarkantha and Ahmedabad districts and police patrolling was beefed up in areas close to industrial estates.

Chief minister Vijay Rupani said his government was “working hard to ensure trust and confidence among all citizens that they are safe and secure in Gujarat".

The BJP has been accusing Congress member of legislative assembly (MLA) Alpesh Thakor and his organisation, the Gujarat Kshatriya Thakor Sena, for the violence against the Hindi-speaking population in Gujarat. A video purportedly showing Thakor making a speech against migrant workers has gone viral. However, he refuted the charges.

In a series of tweets Rupani asked Congress president Rahul Gandhi to take action against his party workers. “Congress first incites violence against migrants. Congress president tweets to condemn this violence. Does the Congress president not have any shame?"

“Poverty is the worst state for creating panic. The root causes of violence in Gujarat are the closed factories and unemployment. Both the system and economy are on the verge of collapse. Targeting migrant workers is completely wrong. I totally stand against it," Rahul Gandhi had tweeted.

On Monday, the Gujarat police arrested Congress leader Mohanji Thakor for threatening migrants.

Gujarat home minister Pradeepsinh Jadeja had also indirectly blamed the Congress for the attacks during a press conference. The police have arrested about 450 people for inciting violence.

“I do not understand why the BJP government is not being able to control this violence. BJP-ruled states are dangerous now. In Gujarat, there is surely some kind of provocation. People are afraid and scared leading them to leave their homes. This is enough now. BJP can do nothing better than the politics of division," West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee said on Tuesday.

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