“If voted to power, we will give topmost priority to the matter”

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Nitin Gadkari said here on Thursday that if voted to power his party would give topmost priority to sealing and securing the country’s borders.

Speaking at a public meeting before flagging off a Swahid Sradhanjali Yatra to the Bumla sector on the border with China in Tawang district of Arunachal Pradesh, Mr. Gadkari alleged that the borders were still unprotected. “India is the only country in the world which has left its borders unprotected and open.”

By securing the borders, India would only be sending a clear message to its neighbours that it would not attack any neighbouring country and, at the same time, it would not tolerate any violation of its borders by any neighbouring country, said the BJP president.

India-China border row

Mr. Gadkari said that when a BJP delegation led by him visited China at the invitation of the Communist Party of China, he had told Chinese leaders that the BJP wanted the border dispute to be resolved and that the two Asian neighbours together could give a new direction to development and change the future of the globe. No dispute would ever arise if they respected each other’s territory and independent position.

The Saheed Sradhanjali Yatra has been organised by the BJP youth wing — Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) — to pay tribute to the Indian soldiers and civilians who laid down their lives in the 1962 India-China war. A 72-member delegation led by BJYM national president Anurag Thakur left for Bumla after the Yatra was flagged off by Mr. Gadkari. The Yatra on the theme “1962 Never Again” will culminate in Bumla on October 21.

‘FDI from Bangladesh’

The BJP president also accused the Congress of indulging in vote-bank politics and extending red carpet welcome to undocumented migrants from Bangladesh who, he alleged, had been entering India thorough the porous border.

The BJP wanted friendly relations with Bangladesh. Vote-bank politics of the Congress had compromised on the country’s security, he alleged. He also sarcastically described the alleged entry of undocumented migrants as “Foreign Direct Investment from Bangladesh into Congress vote-bank.”

The former Lok Sabha MP from Arunachal Pradesh, Kiren Rijiju, rejoined the BJP and was welcomed by Mr. Gadkari. Mr. Rijiju said though he had left the BJP in 2009, he had not formally joined the Congress or taken its membership over the past three years.