GUWAHATI: Accusing Assam’s ruling Congress of abetting illegal migration from Bangladesh, the BJP on Friday promised that it would detect and deport the immigrants and choke illegal influx by sealing the India-Bangladesh border if voted to power.
“Our emphasis is on infiltration. The Congress has all along encouraged illegal migration. They tried to destroy and change Assam’s demography by encouraging it for votes,” Finance Minister Arun Jaitley alleged while unveiling the BJP’s Assam Vision Document for 2016-25.
“Keeping the border completely sealed and identifying the immigrants will be our priority. For 15 years the Congress has been in power here. It’s a failed government. Our aim is to uproot it,” he asserted.
In the Vision Document, the BJP assured people that a law would be enacted to deal firmly with industries, businesses, small and medium enterprises or any other agencies employing infiltrators.
At Sonari, some 500-km east of Guwahati, BJP president Amit Shah promised people that he would give them a Bangladeshi-migrants-free Assam if BJP was voted to power. “Assam has turned out to be a hotbed of Bangladeshis. I appeal to you to vote for the BJP. We will rid the state of the immigrants,” Shah told people at the rally.
The BJP had grabbed seven of the state’s 14 seats in the 2014 Parliamentary elections by playing on the fears of illegal migration. Even at the time, the party had promised to drive out the migrants.
“You can write it down. After May 16, these Bangladeshis better be prepared with their bags packed,” BJP’s then prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi had said. Subsequently, the party grabbed power at the Centre but the issue remains, forcing Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi to quip: “The BJP comes across Bangladeshis only ahead of any election in Assam”.
On Friday, Jaitley asserted: “This is a historic moment to defeat the Congress. We’re optimistic about winning the election. We will have a landslide victory. The anti-Congress mood is being consolidated.” Claiming that people’s desire for change was sweeping, he said people, especially youth, were fed up with Congress’ slogans and were longing for growth.
Gogoi was critical of the BJP’s Vision Document saying, “They haven’t said what they are going to do in the next five years. They have no roadmap”.