Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal issued a subtle warning to the opposition parties including the Congress and All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) – but without mentioning their names – of playing cheap politics on the issue of illegal Bangladeshi migrants in the State.
Delivering his first major speech in the newly-constituted state assembly, Sonowal said his government was in favour of a permanent solution to the issue of illegal migrants from Bangladesh, and that he expected the ruling and opposition parties to work hand-in-hand on this front, ‘But we want that nobody indulges in cheap politics over the illegal migrants issue.’ ‘It is a complex issue, but it is possible to find a permanent solution provided everybody cooperated. After all it is about protecting our land, our people, our rights,’ added the Chief Minister.
Pointing out that the first place he visited immediately after the first meeting of his council of ministers was the headquarter of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) here last week, Sonowal stated, ‘The task of updating and revising the Register had to be completed at the least minimum time,’ adding, ‘I have exchanged views with the officials and told them that no person should feel threatened during the NRC updation process. It is after all a national responsibility, and we have to take everybody into confidence.
‘One thing all must keep in mind that we have to complete the NRC updation as early as possible. The more the delay, the more harm to Assam,’ Sonowal said. The Chief Minister also expressed satisfaction that the Union Home Ministry had earlier this week set 2017 as deadline for complete sealing of the Indo-Bangladesh boundary, ‘We are happy that the Centre has expressed its firmness in sealing the Indo-Bangladesh boundary by 2017.’
It was only two days ago that Assam governor PB Acharya informed that the government would ensure providing constitutional, legislative, social and cultural safeguards to the indigenous communities as per Clause 6 of the Assam Accord.
‘The efforts would also include protecting satra and other religious, cultural and ecological lands from infiltrators; eviction of encroachments on government lands by persons of doubtful citizenship, complete sealing of the Indo-Bangladesh border within a definite time-frame, putting identifying markers on boats plying in border areas,’ he shared.