Union Minister Arun Jaitley said the situation in Assam can be seen in the context of Jammu-Kashmir. In a blog written on Wednesday, 1 August, the senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader said that like Jammu-Kashmir, Assam was a sore issue with Pakistan at the time of Independence.
“They resented the fact that like Kashmir, Assam became a part of Independent India,” he wrote in his blog titled ‘National Register of Citizens –Sovereignty vs Vote Bank’ on Facebook.
Jaitley said that there was a steady influx of illegal migrants from East Pakistan till before the 1971 war with Pakistan.
“Because of ethnic and linguistic similarity and religious commonality, it was possible for these people together to avoid detection and find a shelter in Assam,” he wrote.
Slamming the Congress and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for their statements against the NRC, Jaitley said that both Indira Gandhi and Indira Gandhi had said they will deport migrants who came to India after 25 March 1971.
He added that Mamata Banerjee had herself expressed alarm in the Lok Sabha in 2005 over the infiltration from Bangladesh into her state.
“Historically, both Mrs. Indira Gandhi and Mr. Rajeev Gandhi, through the Congress Government that they headed, committed to this nation that post 25th March, 1971 migrants would be detected, identified and deported,” Jaitley wrote.
“The West Bengal CM, Mamata Banerjee, has stated in the LS on 4.8.2005: ‘The infiltration in Bengal has become a disaster now… I have both the Bangladeshi & the Indian voters list. This is a very serious matter. I would like to know when would it be discussed in the House?’,” he added.
Jaitley also drew attention to English judge Lord Denning’s observation on illegal immigrants in England. Denning had said that England is being “invaded” by “those who see England as haven”. He said that once in England, the migrants bring their relatives and “so they multiply exceedingly”.
The former Finance Minister recalled the Supreme Court’s observations in 2005 where the court held that “no misconceived and mistaken notions of secularism should be allowed to come in the way of” emphatically stressing on the dangerous consequences of illegal migration from Bangladesh.
“The SC in Sarbananda Sonowal vs UOI (2005) held ‘…The silent and invidious demographic invasion of Assam may result in the loss of geostrategically vital districts of lower Assam. The influx of these illegal migrants is turning these districts into a Muslim majority region’,” wrote Jaitley.
Slamming the fracas created by the opposition over the NRC, Jaitley said that “India’s sovereignty is paying a heavy price because of the quality of its political discourse”.
“The result of this has been that in the 50 years between 1961 and 2011, the majority community in Assam has grown 2.4 times; the minority has grown 3.9 times. This has caused a major demographic impact,” he wrote.
He accused the Congress of shifting from its mainstream position on Indian politics and assuming a “fringe position”.
“Siding with the ‘Tukde Tukde’ gang was one such illustration. It is now compromising the sovereignty of India,” wrote Jaitley adding, “Leaders like Rahul Gandhi and Mamata Banerjee must realise that India’s sovereignty is not a play thing. Sovereignty and citizenship are the soul of India. Imported vote banks are not.”