The BJP promised on Friday to solve Assam’s festering illegal immigration problem and seal the Indo-Bangladesh border, an emotive issue in the poll-bound state.
Union finance minister Arun Jaitley unveiled the BJP’s Assam Vision Document 2016-2025, which is sort of a manifesto for the state’s April assembly polls, and accused three-term chief minister Tarun Gogoi and the ruling Congress of encouraging unchecked immigration from Bangladesh and damaging the demography.
“Our main aim is to make Assam a front-ranking state in the country. We are committed to solve the vexed Bangladeshi infiltration problem and steps have been taken for a permanent solution,” he said.
He blamed the Congress government for the influx of immigrants from Bangladesh, mostly Muslims, saying the party’s vote bank politics had crated demographic instability in the state.
“Today, Assam’s demographic situation is disturbed because of wrong policy adopted by the Congress on the infiltration issue. Instead of taking strong measures, the Congress government’s policy encouraged infiltrators,” he said.
The BJP promised to work closely with the Centre for “complete sealing of the Indo-Bangladesh border in the state” if it was voted to power, which will be its first government in the state.
The party assured the people that a law would be enacted to deal sternly with industries, businesses, small and medium enterprises and any other agency that employ infiltrators or foreigners staying illegally in the state.
Union minister and the BJP’s man for the chief minister’s post, Sarbananda Sonowal, said constitutional safeguards would be ensured for the indigenous people.
Sonowal is a former leader of the All Assam Students Union, which spearheaded a long and bloody mass movement from the late 70s to the 80s against Bangladeshi immigrants.
Jaitley was optimistic that the BJP-led alliance would sweep the elections in Assam because people want a dynamic government to deliver development.
He called the Gogoi government a failure and dismissed allegations of funds cut to the state by the NDA government.
Assam will get Rs 1,43,239 crore as tax devaluation as recommended by the 14th Finance Commission as against Rs 57,854 crore during the previous period, he said. “Stop misleading the people. A failed government is trying to find excuses for its failures.”