BJP national president Amit Shah with party's Rajasthan president Madan Lal Saini waves to party members during a meeting at Birla Auditorium, in Jaipur on September 11.(HT Photo/Himanshu Vyas)
BJP national president Amit Shah with party's Rajasthan president Madan Lal Saini waves to party members during a meeting at Birla Auditorium, in Jaipur on September 11.(HT Photo/Himanshu Vyas)

‘Will expel all Bangladeshi infiltrators,’ Amit Shah talks NRC in Rajasthan

Amit Shah claimed the Congress was only “worried about the vote bank” , referring to the allegation that the Congress turned a blind eye to the issue of illegal immigrants in Assam for the sake of votes.
By HT Correspondent | Hindustan Times, Jaipur
UPDATED ON SEP 12, 2018 12:06 AM IST

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah on Tuesday attacked the Congress in poll-bound Rajasthan over its criticism of the draft National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam while vowing to expel all Bangladeshi infiltrators. He said the criticism showed that the Congress “is more concerned about its vote bank rather than the country’s security”.

The draft was published in July and excluded about 4 million people; it was part of an exercise to identify and deport illegal immigrants. Congress president Rahul Gandhi subsequently criticised the BJP governments at the Centre and in Assam over the “tardy” execution of the “critical and highly sensitive” drafting exercise.

Shah cited Gandhi’s criticism and said the Congress president could oppose this as much as he wants. “But the BJP has vowed to not spare even a single Bangladeshi infiltrator. We will expel all of them,” Shah told a gathering of BJP workers in Jaipur.

Shah’s comments came a day after BJP general secretary, Ram Madhav, said the people excluded from the draft would be disenfranchised and deported while Assam chief minister, Sarbananda Sonowal, suggested the NRC could be implemented across India.

“When we made a list of 4 million Bangladeshi infiltrators, the Congress started raising a hue and cry. They were devastated. You talk about human rights, but I want to ask you, ‘What about the human rights of the poor?,” Shah asked. Shah said there was no need to worry about the draft’s consequences on Hindus from neighbouring countries in India.

“The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill of 2016 will ensure that Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, and others coming from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh will become eligible for [Indian] citizenship.”

Shah also questioned the Congress’ stance on national security.

“I want to ask them, ‘Are you not worried about the nation’s security?’ Several terrorists infiltrated and carried out bomb blasts under your regime. It happened in Delhi, Ahmedabad, and Mumbai.”

He claimed the Congress was only “worried about the vote bank” , referring to the allegation that the Congress turned a blind eye to the issue of illegal immigrants in Assam for the sake of votes. Shah said elections in Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh are important .

“I said the BJP will rule for 50 years. The Congress party’s Humpty Dumpty calls us arrogant. This is not arrogance, but self-confidence that we will rule for at least 50 years.”

Congress spokesman Pratap Singh said Shah is raking up the NRC to divert attention from the real issues. “Instead of talking about unemployment, inflation and corruption, they talk about religion. Any issue in the country’s interest should be discussed in Lok Sabha but the BJP is afraid to do so.”

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