Addressing an election rally in Silchar in southern Assam, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said the mood in the country can be guessed by the crowds in his rallies. “There is a strong wave in favour of us,” he said.
“The people of India have made up their mind. The opposition has no way out. Five seats are going to polls in Assam, the NDA will be victorious in all five. These elections will decide which direction will India move,” he said.
The BJP has nursed the southern Assam districts of Cachar, Karimganj and Hailakandi which have substantial number of Hindus of Bangaldeshi origin. There was wide support among these districts for the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill that had propose to make the process of granting Indian citizenship easier to non-Muslim refugees from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan. The Bill lapsed in February after it failed to make it to the Rajya Sabha.
‘We are committed to bring Citizenship (Amendment) Bill after consultations with all sections; it will be amended in way so as not to impact Assamese people,” Modi said.
The BJP manifesto also mentions that the party will try to revive the bill.
Earlier in the day, at an election rally at Kendukona in Kamprup district, he accused the Congress of encouraging illegal immigration into Assam with the aim of securing their votes.
“Remember how people of Assam and northeast had to fight to preserve their identity. Congress conspired to create a vote bank of infiltrators to ensure that the party continues in power in Assam,” Modi said.
“They knowingly kept the border issues with Bangladesh pending and didn’t try to solve it. In the meantime infiltrators kept entering India, your rights suffered and Congress kept benefitting” he added.
Modi said that if Congress had wished it could have solved border issues with Pakistan, along the border with Assam and Kashmir, after the 1971 war with the neighbouring country.
“In order to protect Assam, we took effective steps like formalizing border agreement with Bangladesh. It has helped fencing work in the border (and stopped infiltration),” he said.
Modi mentioned about how work on updating the NRC was speeded up after the NDA came to power in 2014 and assured that no genuine Indian citizen will be left out of it and no ‘foreigner’ will get included.
But Modi was silent on the contentious (Citizenship) Amendment Bill. The PM blamed Congress of stalling implementation of the 1985 Assam Accord and listed development works undertaken in the region during NDA regime.
“Your vote will decide what kind of security policy we have. Can there be any compromise on national security? Can we have a compromise with terrorists, Maoists and Naxalites?” questioned Modi.
The PM ended his speech with statements in Assamese highlighting the BJP’s achievements and promises.
“Anta poril kola dhonor bepar (the business of black money has come to end), deshdrohir uporot poril madho mar (traitors of the country have got beaten up), anuprabeshkari sokole polabo simapa (infiltrators will have to flee across the border),”Modi said as thousands cheered.