Modi hopes land swap deal will stop influx in Assam

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Guwahati, Dec 1: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday assured the people of Assam that the land swap deal with Bangladesh will stop illegal infiltration and not compromise their security. Modi was speaking at a mammoth public rally at the Sarusajai Stadium here.

He said the land swap deal would be used to stop infiltration from Bangladesh, which would be for Assam’s benefits.

“I know the sentiments of the people of Assam. I am going to make such arrangements that the land swap deal with Bangladesh benefits the State,” he said, adding, “I am going to use the land swap deal to stop illegal infiltration from Bangladesh, which has been a perennial problem for Assam. I am also going to use the land swap deal to ensure security along the border,” while seeking the consent of the people.

“It may seem a loss for Assam at present, but I will make arrangements so that it benefits Assam in the long run,” he said.

Under the land swap deal, land and enclaves in adverse possession of India and Bangladesh are sought to be exchanged. The deal was initiated by UPA government and a bill also introduced in the Parliament, but the Opposition parties, led by the BJP, had protested against it.

The Prime Minister said that no bad forces in the world would not dare to do any harm to the northeastern region.

He said the Centre had a new government and new government was committed to fulfil all the commitments made earlier. “I will ensure that the people of Assam get their rights,” he said.

The Prime Minister said that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had always been involved in “politics of development”, and it was the BJP that forced other parties to discuss developmental issues.

“We are here to serve the nation. We have already initiated efforts to develop the northeast region, and all the States in the region will get a new engine of development soon,” he added.

A BJP workers’ meeting was held at the same venue in presence of the Prime Minister.

Overwhelmed at the turnout of over 50,000 BJP workers, Modi exhorted the party workers to ensure massive success of the membership drive, initiated by the party’s national president Amit Shah.

He also urged the participants to ensure that the rally venue is not littered, in keeping with the PM’s cleanliness awareness drive.

The Prime Minister also reiterated the BJP’s slogan for inclusive development, asserting that the party’s politics was one development and not regionalism or communalism.

In his address, Union minister Sarbananda Sonowal said, “The country has got a new direction under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. BJP’s main aim is to solve the burning issues Assam is currently facing. In the coming elections, the party’s main issue is development.”

On the Assam Accord, Sonowal said, “To solve the illegal foreigners problem in the State, the Assam Accord should be implemented. All illegal foreigners living in the State should be deported to their countries of origin.”

He said the State BJP hopes that the Central government would take illegal foreigners issue, flood and land erosion problems and few other important issues seriously.

In the party workers’ meet, some of the top BJP leaders were also present.

In its reaction, the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) objected to the statement made by the Prime Minister on the land swap deal issue. In a statement, the powerful students’ body stated: “People of Assam are not in favour of handing over Assam’s land to Bangladesh at any cost. Assam’s land should be with Assam and all the porous borders should be fenced to stop infiltration.” The AASU also expressed its concern over the BJP’s sudden change of mind in regard to land swap deal.

The AGP also condemned Modi’s statement on this issue.

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