Bankura (West Bengal), May 4 IANS | 3 months ago

BJP's prime ministerial hopeful Narendra Modi Sunday came down heavily on West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for "serving" Bangladeshi infiltrators and neglecting the youths in her state, and alleged the Congress and the Left are in league with her on this issue.


Seeking to make a distinction between infiltrators and refugees from Bangladesh, Modi said while those who force themselves into India illegally would have to go back, people driven out from the neighbouring nation because of their religion would be welcomed.

About half of the 4,026-km border the country shares with Bangladesh passes through Bengal, and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has been raising the issue of infiltrators for a long time.

During a speech at Sreerampore in Hooghly district Sunday last, Modi said the "illegal Bangladeshi migrants" would have to go back with bag and baggage once the Lok Sabha election results are announced May 16. This prompted an angry retort from Banerjee, who dared him to touch a single "Bengali speaking person".

Slamming Banerjee, who earlier referred to Modi as a "paper tiger", the Gujarat chief minister said if "Didi" was more concerned about the Royal Bengal tiger, then tourism would have boomed in the state, leading to more livelihood sources.

"Didi keeps talking of tigers but who is she serving? Infiltrators. Had you worried about tigers, then Bengal would have drawn a lot more tourists," he said.

"BJP is clear on this. Vote bank politics has ruined India and be it the Left, Congress or 'Didi', none of them is bothered about the livelihood of the youths. They are only bothered about Bangladesh infiltrators," he said.

Sticking to his stand that these infiltrators will have to be sent back, Modi, however, welcomed the "refugees", who were being subjected to injustice in Bangladesh.

"Two types of people have come (from Bangladesh) -- one are those who have been made to flee from there because of their religion."

"Those who left the country many years ago and are settled elsewhere, their passport colour might have changed... but these sons of the Indian soil who love their motherland... won't they come back to seek shelter when they are subjected to injustice? They will come back to their own land," he said.

(Posted on 04-05-2014)