Even as the BJP-led government at the Centre completed one year in office, the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) has reminded Prime Minister Narendra Modi of an announcement that he had made during the 2014 Lok Sabha election campaign – that Bangladeshi infiltrators would have to pack up after May 16 2014 – and asked him what happened to that.
“The prime minister had as the star BJP campaigner for last year’s Lok Sabha election clearly said in a rally in Serampore in West Bengal on April 28 last year that the Bangladeshi infiltrators would have to pack up after May 16 2014. But exactly one year has passed and not a single Bangladeshi infiltrator has actually left. Instead, many more must have trickled in,” said AASU president Dipanka Nath on Monday.
Reminding Modi of his announcement, the AASU leader said on the contrary, the BJP government has announced that it would grant citizenship to one section of Bangladeshi infiltrators after dividing them on religious lines. About the other section, not a single one has been caught and thrown out, he said.
“The worst is that the BJP, which had sought votes from the people of Assam by making tall promises of detecting and deporting the Bangladeshi infiltrators, had not convened even one review meeting on the Assam Accord in its first year in government. Neither has the prime minister nor the home minister held any meeting to review the progress of the Accord’s implementation,” Nath lamented.
Samujjal Bhattacharyya, advisor of North-East Students’ Organisation (NESO), an umbrella body of students’ unions of all the seven states, on the other hand said the recent arrest of a former Bangladesh minister and BNP leader in Meghalaya has only proved that infiltration from the neighbouring country was on.
“A senior BNP leader and former Bangladesh minister entered Meghalaya without any valid documents, and the government came to know only when some local people in Shillong handed him over to police last week,” the NESO advisor said.
Bhattacharyya also rued that while the BJP government always took a strong and firm stand against Pakistani fundamentalists sneaking into India, the same government preferred to remain silent on fundamentalists entering the Northeast from Bangladesh. “The BJP has shown two different colours, one before the elections, and after it,” the NESO leader said.
The Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), too, hit out at the BJP and its government on the issue of checking Bangladeshi influx to Assam. “The party that took votes from the people of Assam by promising to tackle Bangladeshi infiltration has now announced it will grant citizenship to one section of them by calling them refugees. There is no word to describe the BJP now,” said AGP president Atul Bora.
“That the BJP is least bothered about Assam and its burning problems has been proved by the U-turn it took on the Land Boundary Agreement with Bangladesh. During the election campaign its leaders promised it would keep Assam out of the agreement. But what it did recently in connivance with the Congress is simply anti-Assam,” the AGP president said.