Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Amit Shah on Monday set a 2024 deadline for implementing the hugely divisive National Register of Citizens (NRC) across the country, asserting “each and every” infiltrator will be identified and expelled before the next general election.
Notwithstanding the admission by some BJP leaders in West Bengal that apprehensions over the NRC had cost the party dearly in the recent by polls there, the Union home minister told poll rallies in neighbouring Jharkhand that the nation-wide exercise will be conducted despite reservations voiced by opposition parties.
“Today, I want to tell you that before the 2024 polls the NRC will be conducted across the country and each and every infiltrator identified and expelled. Rahul Baba (Congress leader Rahul Gandhi) says don’t expel them. Where will they go, what will they eat? But I assure you that before the country goes to polls in 2024 all illegal immigrants will be thrown out,” he told election rallies in Chakradharpur and Baharagora.
Also read: NRC: Once bitten, twice shy – Hindu immigrants in West Bengal
Shah said national issues like uprooting terrorism, naxalism and construction of a grand Ram temple in Ayodhya were as important in the Jharkhand elections as local matters like development.
Raking up the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri mosque dispute once again, the BJP president alleged the Congress made attempts to thwart the hearing of the case in the Supreme Court. “Congress leaders would tell the Supreme Court that there is no need for hearing the Ram Janmabhoomi case. With your backing, we submitted that it be taken forward, and the result is that the apex court has ruled that only a Ram temple will be built in Ayodhya,” he said.
He also attacked the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha-Congress- Rashtriya Janata Dal alliance, which is crossing swords with the BJP for electoral laurel in Jharkhand.
The BJP leader also gave credit to the state’s BJP government for uprooting the naxalite menace and for bringing in development. “When Congress was in power, it fired upon students agitating for Jharkhand state and attacked them with batons. Now Hemant Soren (JMM leader) is sitting in the lap of the same Congress so he can become the chief minister,” he said.
He said Raghubar Das provided a zero corruption government and gave the state political stability. “Rahul Gandhi is in Jharkhand today. I challenge him to give an account of what Congress governments have done for Jharkhand during 55 years of their rule. We will also give an account of what we have done in five years,” he said.
(With PTI inputs)