Madhya Pradesh Congress MP Vivek Tankha on Thursday lashed out at Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan for announcing that government jobs would be given only to the people of the state. Tankha claimed that if all states followed this practice, it will “kill the spirit of federalism”.

“Populist madness at its worst: not implementable in the face of SC [Supreme Court] five judge bench judgments,” Tankha tweeted. “If all states follow this dictum will kill India’s spirit of Federalism.”

He wrote a letter to Chouhan, arguing that 100% reservation in government jobs was announced without understanding the needs of people of the state, as well as contrary to previous court judgements. Tankha said such a move is inimical to public interest and misleads the people.

In his Independence Day speech on August 15, the chief minister had assured that preference would be given to local youths for public sector jobs in the state. “It is our duty to be concerned about the youths of our state at a time when job opportunities are scarce,” Chouhan said. “We will put in place such a mechanism that will ensure employment to local youths on the basis of their mark sheets of Class 10 and 12.”

Last year, former chief minister Kamal Nath had said the state government is considering a law to ensure 70% jobs to local youths in the private sector. The Bharatiya Janata Party had dismissed his comments as a gimmick.