BJP leader LK Advani moved an adjournment motion in the Lok Sabha today enforcing an urgent debate on the riots in Assam:
Here are the highlights of the discussion that followed:
- I seek the leave of the House for moving the adjournment motion regarding failure of the government to assess the situation arising out of illegal immigration in Assam
- I welcome new Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde
- Am pleased that PM is here for discussion on Assam
- There has been violence in Assam and many people died due to the violence
- We agreed to the government's view - the wording of the motion was changed from "Hundreds have died" to "Many have died"
- A disturbance of this scale where four lakh people have been displaced is unprecedented
- This question should not be looked at from a communal viewpoint
- I have said in Kokrajhar - Let not anyone regard it as a Hindu vs Muslim issue
- The crux of the problem is who is an Indian and who is a foreigner? That recognition will provide the basis to the debate
- Assamese people are now refugees in their own state
- Infiltration from Bangladesh is affecting the security of the whole country
- People in Assam feel that if this would have happened in any other part of the country, more stringent measures would have been taken.
- The PM went there and said what has happened in Assam is shameful.
- (Mr Advani quotes from an article) - Former election commissioner HS Brahma said Assam was a huge tinderbox. Tarun Gogoi said this morning that Assam is sitting on a volcano
- The students' agitation in Assam was peaceful and resulted in Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) government in 1985 headed by Prafulla Kumar Mohanta
- If an Indian is displaced, then the government is answerable. On the other hand, if a foreigner is killed on Indian soil, perpetrators cannot be pardoned.
- I believe the situation emanating from illegal immigration from Bangladesh is a serious issue, and the central government is more responsible than state government
- I cannot think of a greater failure if the central government than this.
- Assam is critical to India's security. To neglect it is a great folly
- Go to the people and ask what they think of the government.
- Government encouraging illegal immigrants for electoral gains
- Mr Advani made a controversial remark that questioned the legitimacy of the Congress-led government. (The Speaker said she would go through the records and expunge objectionable bits. An angry Sonia Gandhi also showed rare
Sushil Kumar Shinde (Leader of Lok Sabha):
- Advaniji is a senior leader and we respect him. I think he should withdraw his words. This is an insult to the entire House
(Following uproar and sloganeering, the Speaker said Mr Advani's
remark would be expunged. )
LK Advani clarifies:
- I was not talking about 2009 elections. I was talking about the confidence vote in 2008
- Meira Kumar (Speaker):
- We are all concerned about the people of Assam. I have permitted the adjournment. Advaniji, people's feelings have been hurt on one word, if you take it back, we can move forward.
- I have withdrawn the comments
(Sushma Swaraj defends LK Advani, says comments not out of context)
- According to Rule 58 (2), not more than one matter shall be discussed. The motion shall be restricted to a specific matter involving the government. Mr Advani should restrict himself only to the adjournment motion.
- The Parliamentary Affairs Minister said Advaniji wasn't speaking on the adjournment motion. He was. He said the government was responsible for illegal immigration and not following Supreme Court's orders. He admitted to that. His comments were on the 2008 confidence motion.
- I withdraw (comments). It was with reference to 2008 confidence motion and not 2009.
(House breaks for lunch)
(Debate continues at 2 pm)
- One crore and five lakh illegal immigrants from Bangladesh are residing in India. Out of these 50 lakh are in Assam alone - This was Sri Prakash Jaiswal's statement in Parliament in 2006. Mr Jaiswal later said the statement was unreliable and based on hearsay.
- In places like Dhubri, there are so many illegal immigrants that soon someone will say it's a part of Bangladesh.
- I expect the PM or Home Minister to put on record what is the number of illegal immigrants in India, particularly in Assam.
(Mr Advani defends his record as Home Minister when Congress MPs demand figures from him)
- Illegal immigration is of consequence to the people of Assam since their lands are going away. TV Rajeshwar had said Bodos are alienated from their own land, they are refugees in their own state.
- This is an issue, like I have already said, of Indian and Foreigner. We must have an updated National Register of Citizens. Names of people from Bangladesh deleted; and non-violability of tribal belts. This will strengthen the unity and security of this country.
- Bangladeshis in India should be deported and before that disenfranchised. The PM and Home Minister should set a target for the government and share it with the House