A senior leader of India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) on Sunday said that the government is committed to implementing the proposed nationwide National Register of India and announced that the government will send back 10 million Bangladeshi Muslims living in the West Bengal state illegally, media reported.
BJP’s West Bengal unit chief Dilip Ghosh passed the remarks while addressing a rally in the Indian city of Barasat. Ghosh said that those opposing the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) are “anti-Bengali and against the idea of India”.
He alleged that 10 million illegal Muslims have been “thriving” in West Bengal and taking advantage of the government’s Rs2 per kg subsidy on rice. “We will send them back,” he announced.
“These illegal Bangladeshi Muslims are involved in arsons across the state,” Ghosh alleged. The BJP leader said that he did not fear being labelled a communal for supporting the cause of Hindu refugees, who had to run for their life after due to religious persecution.
“Those who are opposing the CAA are either anti-India or anti-Bengali. They are against the idea of India that is why they are opposing Hindu refugees getting citizenship,” claimed Ghosh.
The BJP leader said his “heart bleed for infiltrators” while taking a jibe at prominent personalities, for opposing the CAA and the proposed nationwide NRC. “What about Hindu refugees? They don’t have any answers. This is a double standard,” Ghosh asked.
India has been rocked by protests against the controversial citizenship law introduced by the Modi-led government at the backend of 2019. For many analysts, the protests have become a major challenge for the Indian government.
The law, which offers fast-track citizenship to non-Muslim nationals from three neighbouring countries, is the latest policy instituted by Modi’s government that critics accuse of marginalising Muslims in the Hindu-majority nation.
During his nearly six years in power, BJP has renamed places with Islamic-origin names, rewritten history textbooks to diminish or discredit the role of Muslim leaders, and stripped the Muslim-dominated region of Kashmir of its special autonomy.
Modi has insisted the legislation will have no impact on Muslims, however his party’s 2019 election pledge to conduct a nationwide survey to identify illegal immigrants has raised fears among Muslims of becoming stateless, with no fast-track naturalisation option available to them.