New Delhi, September 10, 2018:
The BJP’s double standard on the issue of illegal immigrants came to the fore yet again on Monday when senior party leader Ram Madhav said the Centre would protect the interests of the non-Muslim immigrants as well as the Assamese people.
“…We have a commitment to another category of people who came to India legally or illegally as refugees because there is persecution happening. This land has always welcomed and offered succour to people who were in trouble. In 1950, when the Expulsion of Assam Act came into being, it had a clause that said people who come as refugees following persecution, this Act will not apply to them. This tradition was ratified in 1950. So, our government thinks it as its responsibility that people (read non-Muslims), who come from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, will get the right to live in this country. We are also considering to giving them the right to claim citizenship,” Madhav said at a programme on illegal immigration at Constitution Club in New Delhi.
At the same time, he also said that the BJP had a commitment to Assam to implement the Assam Accord.
“We made a commitment to the people of Assam as regards the Assam Accord. We are committed to implement Clause 6 of the Assam Accord in letter and spirit. We are committed to protect the Assamese people’s linguistic and cultural identity,” he asserted.
Clause 6 of the Assam Accord says: “Constitutional, legislative and administrative safeguards, as may be appropriate, shall be provided to protect, preserve and promote the cultural, social, linguistic identity and heritage of the Assamese people”.
The National Register of Citizens (NRC) is being updated in Assam at the directive of the Supreme Court but the BJP sought to take credit for it.
“When we came to power, we said we will take the bull by its horn. That’s why the Supreme Court directed the Union and Assam governments to expeditiously undertake the process of NRC. Today you have a draft NRC,” he said.
Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, who was also present at the programme, said the past few census reports suggested the alarming rise of population, much beyond the national average, in some states. This highlights the intensity of illegal migration in India, he said.
“It is a challenge for us and I feel each state should have NRC. Through this document, we can protect people. The immigrants not only pose a threat to the country’s security, they also eat into its already constrained resources. If not driven away, the foreigners will create threats for us. All states should take it seriously,” Sonowal said.