The India-Bangladesh border along Assam will be sealed by the end of this year, putting an end to the menace of infiltration, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) general secretary and Assam in-charge Ram Madhav told Mail Today.
The border will be jointly patrolled by the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) and the Border Security Force (BSF) of India.
Chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal had made a similar announcement, asserting that infiltration will be completely plugged in two years. The move will fulfil the BJP’s major poll promise.
The party contested the recent elections primarily on issues of infiltration and illegal Bangladeshi migrants damaging the cultural identity and demography of the state.
“The victory in Assam has ramifications which are ideological, local, and national as well as international. We promised two things in the elections: development and the security of the identity, honour and culture of Assam, which has been facing the perennial problem of infiltration. A lot of the border had been sealed post Indo-Bangladesh Land Boundary Agreement, and the remaining will be sealed by 2016,” said Madhav.
The BJP leader also said action would soon begin against illegal migrants living in the state.
“The National Register of Citizens of India (NRC), which is under preparation, will be completed soon and then the state can take legal action, though it cannot deport them, as it is the domain of the Union government,” Madhav said.
The party general secretary, a former RSS functionary, said that the BJP’s victory has come at an opportune time as far as national politics is concerned.
“At the national level, the victory came at the right time. It has been a gift to the PM on the second anniversary of BJP’s coming to power. The victory has changed the mood of the entire country since many had started thinking that BJP was on the downhill slide,” Madhav said.
Madhav also stressed the international implications impinging on the BJP’s Assam conquest.
“The victory was important for our Look East or Act East policy as Northeast is a geostrategic territory. We can connect India by land to countries as far as Malaysia and even Singapore.”
Will Assam be declared a Tribal State? Madhav refused to give a definitive answer, though he indicated it was a strong possibility.
“Such a decision comes only with the census, which is up for 2021. There are six communities that are asking for the status of Scheduled Tribe and their demand is genuine. If the status is bestowed on them, then if the overall population allows for such a status of the state as per the next census, a Constitutional process will be followed. The matter is being followed up by the home ministry,” he said.
The chief architect of the BJP’s victory, Madhav said he had his eyes on the upcoming assembly polls in Manipur, Meghalaya and Tripura in 2017 and Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland in 2019.
“We have already formed a non-Congress alliance in the Northeast. The alliance goes by the name of North East Democratic Alliance,” Madhav said.
Meanwhile Madhav, also credited with the formation of the BJP-PDP government in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), said that though radicalism within the youth of the valley had raised its head currently, the security establishment had handled it effectively and in a tough manner.
On the issue of the relocation of Kashmiri Pundits, Madhav said the state government was committed, but the issue had been twisted by rumours.
“The chief minister has said in the House that they will be relocated. The separatists have, however, indulged in hypocrisy. They first welcomed the Pundits and now they are opposing them. They are acting at the behest of external forces. Pundits can be relocated in exclusive localities, mixed localities or can go back to their villages. This is a call they will have to take; we are no one to impose our views on them,” said Madhav.