The BJP Bengal unit demanded the immediate sealing of the Indo-Bangladesh border, alleging that madrasas operating along the border were “funded by foreign countries” and had become a “breeding ground” of terrorism and anti-national activities in the country.
“We all know that these madrasas are funded by foreign countries and have become breeding ground of anti-national elements. These madrasas are creating a chain, which is making the Indo-Bangla border vulnerable to anti-national activities, illegal cattle trade and smuggling,” BJP state president Dilip Ghosh claimed.
Ghosh said the “porous” border that West Bengal shares with Bangladesh is a threat to national security. “Infiltration has stopped in northern and western part of India where it shares border with Pakistan. But infiltration from this side of Indo-Bangla border is still on. Whenever there has been a terror attack or blast, during investigation some clues have led to Bengal and its bordering areas. The anti-national and anti-social elements are using this route to enter India,” Ghosh said.
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Referring to a purported statement by former Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee on madrasas in border areas in West Bengal functioning as “breeding ground for fundamentalism”, the BJP leader said, “Few years ago, the then chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee had said that madrasas in bordering areas of West Bengal are breeding grounds of fundamentalism. But later on he had retracted his statement due to pressure from his party. But you can’t take a chief minister’s comment lightly. Whatever he had said was on the basis of reports of IB and police,” Ghosh said.
He lauded the efforts of the recently elected BJP government in Assam to stop infiltration along its borders. “Why isn’t the state government, like the newly-elected government in Assam, taking up the matter of sealing the Indo-Bangla border in Bengal?” asked the newly elected MLA, who won from Kharagpur Sadar constituency in the Assembly elections.
While sealing of borders was not an issue either Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh or Prime Minister Narendra Modi had directly spoken of during election campaigns in the state, both had addressed the “problem of illegal migration”. Singh had spoken of Bangladesh as a “friendly country” and the need for better management of the border, while Modi had linked the lack of employment opportunities in the state to illegal migration.
Ghosh, who has become a key player in the state BJP unit after the party saw an increase of around 36 lakh votes in this year’s Assembly polls, further promised to fight against the bordering madrasas. Apart from informing the people about the “anti-national activities” going on in these madrasas, he added that the party plans to “raise the issue in the state Assembly and ask the state government to take action against anti-national elements”.
Ghosh, who has courted controversies for his comments, claimed anti-national elements have chosen JNU, Jadavpur University and Hyderabad University to flare up anti-national sentiments across the country. “These three universities have the same character – you will see anti-national slogans are being raised, slogans shouted in favour of Afzal Guru. You won’t find any controversy in other universities… We won’t allow such activities in university campus which are against the culture and heritage of our country. These are nothing but indecent and shameless acts,” he said.
Ghosh further said that the BJP will oppose anti-people policies of the TMC government and will emerge as the main opposition in the days to come.
Apart from Ghosh, who defeated veteran Congress leader Gyan Singh Sohanpal, BJP won Malda’s Baishnabnagar seat and Madarihat seat in North Bengal. “In 2014, we had secured 17 per cent votes because of the Narendra Modi wave across the country. We didn’t have any organisational base in Bengal. This time there was no such wave. What we have got is because of the organisational strength of our party,” he said.
With PTI inputs