Guwahati, May 10: Union home minister Amit Shah on Tuesday claimed that illegal migration from Bangladesh has come down drastically in Assam over six years of BJP rule in the state.
Addressing a programme organised here on completion of chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma’s one year in office, Shah recalled the saffron party’s pre-election pledge to stop illegal infiltration from Bangladesh.
“We had promised to curb influx before the elections. I visited the Bangladesh border yesterday and the figures indicate that illegal influx from the neighbouring country has been curbed. There has been a substantial drop in illegal migration to Assam. The state government is standing firm against such infiltration, helping the Centre in stopping nflux,” the home minister said.
Lauding the chief minister’s initiatives to bring about a marked transformation in the past 12 months, Shah praised Sarma for taking a slew of intensive campaigns against not just against illegal infiltrators, but against land mafia, cattle smugglers, drug traffickers, human traffickers and rhino poachers.
“Assam has closed doors for cattle smugglers. About 10,700 bigha satra (Vaishnavite monastery) land has been freed from encroachers. There has been development, indicated by a 14 percent increase in gross state domestic product in the past year,” he recalled while showering praise on the chief minister for ticking the right boxes in the past year.
Taking a dig at the previous tenures of Congress, the home minister said that the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) was extended seven times during Congress rule while over 60 percent of the areas in Assam have been freed from the Act during BJP’s term.
“The Act is not needed, unlike when the Congress ruled the state, as peace has returned to the state now with over 9000 cadres of militant outfits returning to the mainstream after negotiations,” Shah, who is on a two-day visit to the state, said.
“Insurgency, bandhs, bomb blasts, violence, which was common prior to BJP’s tenure, have made way for peace, development, education and employment over the past six years of the saffron party’s governance in the state,” he said.
The home minister further praised the Assam government’s achievements in COVID management in the pre and post vaccination stages.
“Adequate oxygen facilities were put in place in hospitals before COVID vaccines were available, while post availability, vaccination drives were taken to the last mile in Assam. Medical infrastructure has since been augmented substantially, so much so that Assam has now become a healthcare hub,” he added.