- He targeted Congress for allegedly showing concern for illegal immigrants
- He said BJP would take strict action against illegal immigrants
- He accused Congress of playing vote-bank politics
As Rajasthan is just a week from voting for a new government, BJP's national president Amit Shah went all out in his attack on the Congress, which is hoping to snatch the state from the BJP on the back of anti-incumbency sentiment, during a rally in Rajasthan today.
Mr Shah targeted Rahul Gandhi and his party for allegedly showing concern for "illegal immigrants in Assam" and promised that after voters pick the BJP in next year's national election, the government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi will ensure that "each and every infiltrator is identified and thrown out of the country".
"Vote for the BJP in Rajasthan now and in the Lok Sabha elections next year, and we promise to throw them out. Kashmir se Kanyakumari, Kolkata se Kutch, ek ek ghuspethiye ko chun chun kar desh se bahar nikal denge (From Kashmir to Kanyakumari, Kolkata to Gujarat, we will identify each and every illegal immigrant and throw them out)," he said in Nagaur, ahead of the assembly elections on December 7.
His speech made it clear that national security and the hotly-debated Assam citizens' register are among the top priorities of PM Modi's government.
The absence of nearly 40 lakh names from the National Citizens' Register, or NRC, in Assam translated into a full-blown political controversy, with the opposition accusing the BJP of cracking down on Muslims in Assam on the pretext of targeting illegal migrants from Bangladesh.
"This is a question of national security," Mr Shah asserted and alleged that "for 10 years (during the Congress-led government), Alia, Malia, Jamalia kept entering from Pakistan. Nobody stopped them as Congress saw them as vote bank".
"Shouldn't immigrants be thrown out," he asked as thousands in his rally responded in an affirmative.
He took on Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, demanding that he and his party make their stand clear on infiltrators. They are concerned about infiltrators as if they are his (Rahul Gandhi) mausere bhai (maternal cousins), Mr Shah added.
"NRC ghuspethiyon ko chinhit karne ka vyavastha hai (The NRC is a process to identify infiltrators. In Assam, 40 lakh intruders were identified by our government). Rahul baba and his company made hue and cry in the parliament. Why are you throwing them out, what will they eat, where will they go, what about their human rights, they asked. But when these infiltrators enter our country and throw bombs killing our countrymen, what about the human rights of their families?" the BJP president said.
Mr Shah had earlier accused the Congress of introducing the idea of the National Citizens' Register, beginning work in 2005 and then lacking the "courage" to see the project through.
"I want to make this clear in front of the people that the NRC is a result of the Assam Accord signed by Rajiv Gandhi, when the Congress had full majority," he said, repeating the argument made in parliament that had infuriated the Congress.
Mr Shah told the gathering that the Congress won't be able help the country because "it has neither a leader nor a policy". "Rahul Gandhi should list out what his own family has done for the country in the last four generations before asking the BJP for its achievements over the last four years" he said.