Sheila apologises over controversial remarks


New Delhi : Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit Thursday apologised over her remarks that people from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh were migrating to the national capital and making life difficult.

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"I sincerely regret if I have hurt the sentiments of any section of the people. Delhi is home to people from every part of the country," a visible subdued Dikshit said, hours after she was pulled up by senior Congress leaders for the remarks.

"They all, especially people from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, contribute to the growth of Delhi," she said, reading out a statement to reporters at the Delhi secretariat.

On Wednesday, while expressing concern over the rising population in the capital due to migration from neighbouring states, Dikshit had said: "People from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh come to Delhi and settle down here. We have no rules and regulation to stop them."

"Delhi is considered to be the best metropolitan city in the country… People come, become bureaucrats, politicians and settle down here only," she said while laying the foundation stone of a new flyover in south Delhi.

"Hamare paas koi qaide kanun nahin hain jisse hum bol de ki bhai thher jao (we have no rules and regulation to say please don't come)," she had said.

These comments triggered widespread criticism from several political parties.

Dikshit's statement found an echo in the parliament too Thursday as several politicians demanded action against the chief minister and some even asked for her resignation.

MPs from the Rashtriya Janata Dal, the Samajwadi Party and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) were up on their legs to raise the issue soon after the house observed a minute's silence to pay tribute to freedom fighters on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the first war of independence.

Earlier Thursday, senior Congress party leaders took serious exception to Dikshit's remarks. According party sources, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee met Dikshit in his chamber in parliament house. Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi was also present.

"After reviewing the CD containing her speech, both the senior party leaders asked her to express her regret over the statement," said the source.

She was also asked to refrain from making such statements.