If BJP comes to power it will close down the detention camps in Assam, he said

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s prime ministerial candidate and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday urged the Election Commission of India (ECI) to remove the “D” (doubtful/disputed) tag against 1.43 lakh voters in Assam before the 2014 Lok Sabha polls and allow them to cast their votes.

Addressing a BJP rally in southern Assam town Silchar, he also said that all the states of the country and not just Assam should share the burden of providing shelter to the Bangladeshi Hindus, who, he alleged, had been forced to come to India seeking shelter due to “persecution” in the neighbouring country. He, however, said that all “Bangladeshi infiltrators, who have infiltrated with a nefarious political design” should be detected and sent back to where they belong.

Mr. Modi also promised that if the BJP came to power it would close down the detention camps in Assam in which some “D” voters and persons declared by foreigners tribunals are lodged as it was a violation of human rights. He alleged that whenever the Congress government became apprehensive of losing support then it assigned the “D” tag against the certain voters.

In 1997, during intensive revision of electoral rolls, the Election Commission had ordered that the letter ‘D’ be written against names of those voters who failed to provide proof of their citizenship and cases of all those were referred to the foreigners’ tribunals. The ‘D’ voters have been not allowed to cast votes and the issue of “D” voters had been one of the major poll planks for the political parties and candidates in all elections held since then.

On April 21, 2011, a single bench of Gauhati High Court of Justice B.K. Sarma in a judgment directed that once a reference is made to the Tribunal, the Superintendent of Police (Border) will have to ensure that the person concerned cannot do the act of vanishing. If need be, he/she should be kept in the detention camp with the facility of defending the reference.

Mr. Modi said that if a Hindu is troubled in any country, he or she has only one place to come and take shelter, which is India. He said that the BJP did not want only Assam to take the burden of providing shelter to all Bangladeshi Hindus, who had to come to the state due to alleged persecution in Bangladesh and all the states of the country should shoulder the responsibility. He alleged that great injustice had been done towards Assam by not driving out those “Bangladeshi infiltrators” who, he alleged had come with a “political design”.

“While Bangladesh lies next to Assam, Pakistan lies next to Gujarat. The people in Assam are worried because of Bangladesh while Pakistan is worried because of me,” said the BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate in his nearly 40-minute long speech.

Assam government on February 12 informed the Assam Assembly that altogether 130 persons had been kept in three detention camps in Goalpara, Kokrajhar and Silchar. The State Government also informed the House in reply to a question by Congress legislator Kamalakhya De Purakayastha that information on total number of Bengali-Hindus among the “D” voters was not available as “D” tag was not assigned on caste or religious basis.

Earlier addressing a BJP rally at Pasighat in Arunachal Pradesh, Mr. Modi urged China to shed its “expansionist policy” and said no force on earth could ever take away Arunachal Pradesh from India. Arunachal Pradesh shares 1080-km boundary with China.

“China should shed its expansionist mindset and adopt the policy of development. Times have changed. Earlier expanding territories was used to be hailed as a heroic act. Now, everywhere in the world the people are against expansionist attitude. The focus everywhere is on development. China too needs to change and shed its expansionist attitude,” Mr. Modi said in his speech at the rally.

“Arunachal Pradesh is an integral part of India and it will remain so,” he said and added that the people of Arunachal Pradesh never budged under pressure from China and displayed their patriotism and valour during 1961 India-China war. He promised that he would never let the country to lose, break up and lower its head.

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