- BJP spokesperson claimed that "no infiltration is happening at this moment. Illegal migration happened only earlier"
- Bangladeshis are not migrating to India because of economic reasons as they now go to Europe, Gulf or other developed regions, he said
- Another spokesperson said the Citizenship Bill, if passed, will not bring any new Hindu Bangladeshi into India
It's not only god who moves in a mysterious way. The illegal immigrants from Bangladesh entering Assam seem to be moving in a more curious way than the government of Assam could imagine. Or so it seems.
After promising to completely seal the Indo-Bangladesh border to solve Assam’s festering illegal immigration problem during the 2016 assembly elections, the BJP-led government in the state now feels no Bangladeshi national has illegally entered India in the past 10 years.
At a press conference in the wake of violent protests against the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, BJP spokespersons on Thursday claimed that "no infiltration is happening at this moment. Illegal migration happened only earlier".
"We can say that in the last 10 years, no infiltration took place from Bangladesh," BJP spokesperson Swapnanil Barua said.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, which was passed by Lok Sabha recently, seeks to grant Indian citizenship to non-Muslims, who fled religious persecution in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan and entered India before December 31, 2014.
Barua also said that Bangladeshis are not migrating to India because of economic reasons as they now go to Europe, Gulf or other developed regions.
"In Europe or Gulf, they get a minimum wage of around Rs 3,000 per day. In India, they can earn a maximum of Rs 1,000. So, why should they come here?" he asked.
While pushing the controversial Citizenship Amendment Bill, the BJP's main contention has been giving citizenship to minorities from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh on the grounds of religious persecution. The party claims that while Muslim Bangladeshis enter India because of economic reasons, Hindus and other minorities flee the neighbouring country because of religious persecution.
Now that the BJP has declared that Bangladeshis have stopped coming to Assam and rather to go to Europe, Gulf or other developed regions, it isn't clear if the problem of infiltration is as grim as the party said it was during the assembly elections.
During the same press meet, another spokesperson Mominul Awal said the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, if passed, will not bring any new Hindu Bangladeshi into India.
"There is no scope or provision to give citizenship to new people. It is only for those people who are already living here. Only they will get a scope to apply and the deputy commissioner concerned will verify their applications," he added.
(With inputs from agencies)