Ahead of polls, Jharkhand CM raises NRC demand
Jharkhand chief minister Raghubar Das on Tuesday pushed for implementation of National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Jharkhand saying illegal Bangladeshi migrants are eating away the benefits of the legal Muslim residents of the state, raising the pitch on a simmering political issue ahead of assembly elections later this year.
“I have appealed for implementing NRC in Jharkhand too. Illegal Bangladeshi migrants infiltrated through the West Bengal route to Jharkhand’s Santhal region. Now, they are spreading across the state. They are eating out the rights of legal Muslim residents of Jharkhand,” the chief minister said at an event organised by a media house in capital Ranchi on Tuesday. He said all illegal Bangladeshi immigrants would be identified and sent back to their country by the BJP government. When he was asked whether the BJP would include NRC issue in its state manifesto for the upcoming assembly elections in Jharkhand, Das said, “It is already there in the party’s manifesto.” Jharkand has a population of around 32 million of which around 7 million people belong to scheduled tribes.
The state was carved out of Bihar and shares its eastern boundary with West Bengal. Around 15% of the state’s population is Muslim (around 68% is Hindu). Assam is the only state to have compiled an NRC, although there have been demands for it in a few other states. The Bharatiya Janata Party’s general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya recently said NRC should be “implemented across India to prevent the nefarious designs of illegal immigrants.” In August 2017, Das announced for the first time that illegal Bangladeshi migrants would be identified and sent back to their country. He alleged at he time that me political parties encouraged the infiltration of Bangladeshis for vote-banks and few corrupt government officials helped them to get identify proof such as voter ID cards. The state’s department of home, jail and disaster management department in June 2018, wrote to the union ministry of home affairs for its approval to start work on a NRC. A reply to this is still awaited, said additional secretary of state home department Ignatius Kullu.
“We wrote to union ministry of home affairs a year back but yet to get any reply on this,”
Godda BJP MP Nishikant Dubey, who has been raising his voice against illegal Bangladeshi immigrants since 2009, said: “The state’s request for NRC had an inadvertent mistake, and demands it for only two districts, Sahebganj and Pakur. But, this will not solve the purpose. The state should send a revised letter seeking NRC for entire state.”
Dubey claimed the population of illegal Bangladeshi immigrants would be as high as 4 million in Jharkhand and around 1.5 million in six districts of Santhal Paragana. “ Dubey claimed the rising number of illegal immihrants could impact election results on several seats.