New Delhi, Aug 9: BJP leader Arun Jaitley Thursday accused the government of treating the Assam violence as a law and order problem and said the ruling Congress was “importing illegal immigrants” for its “vote bank politics”.
Making a statement in the Rajya Sabha, Jaitley also termed the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government’s approach to the Assam violence as “wholly disappointing” to the tragedy that left some 70 dead in July.
He asked the government to do everything it can to stop the illegal immigration from Bangladesh and detect and deport such people “forthwith”.
“The government is treating this as a transient law and order problem,” Jaitley said, and asked Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde to “display a vision”.
“The Congress has to change its policy. It does not have to import illegal immigrants to increase its vote bank. The cost of this is being paid by the people of Assam and India.
“This crisis is not a law and order problem. It is not an Assamese problem. It is a direct and inequitable consequence of a structured and conspired demographic invasion of Assam,” Jaitley said.
By merely bringing the army for a few days or organizing relief camps, the problem would not get solved, he said.
“The government must stop this illegal immigration; the entire border must be fenced; the detection and deportation must begin forthwith.”
Jaitley said the violence that has uprooted over four lakh people was proof “of the breakdown of the government’s social machinery” in Assam.
He said that even pro-India Bangladesh leaders like Sheikh Mujibur Rehman had favoured “encroachment through immigration”.
“To capture the territory of India with its military might was not possible. Encroachment through immigration was thus the alternative strategy. There was a convergence of the vote bank interest of the Congress party and those in our neighbourhood.”
He slammed the Illegal Migrants (Detection by Tribunal) Act, 1983, which he said puts the onus on the state to prove that a citizen is a foreigner before deporting him.
“Assam was the worst affected province on account of illegal immigration. Its demographic character was changed. The Assamese were suffering and yet the Congress conspired to make it a haven for foreigners.”
The Supreme Court in 2005 struck down the IMDT Act “as one which almost encouraged a silent invasion of India”.
He said the government changed the rules of the Foreigners Act to “introduce the mischief” under the IMDT act.
According to the BJP leader, in 11 out of 27 districts in Assam “a majority of the people living are illegal immigrants”, adding that Dhubri on the border of Bangladesh has over 70 percent illegal immigration.
“The official figures of 2011 Census have not been declared. This figure is expected to increase to beyond 80 percent.
“Do we not see security threat in this district? These are areas which are adjacent to the Chicken’s neck and therefore, constitute a serious threat to India’s security.”