Guwahati, May 31: The BJP has just begun its first innings in Assam and the first priority for the government would be to tackle the issue of illegal migrants. The promise to act against the illegal migrants was one of the major poll promises made by the BJP before it swept Assam.
Chief Minister of Assam, Sarbanand Sonowal has assured that he would tackle the issue effectively in the next two years. Looking at the situation, the government would have to effectively tackle the situation as soon as possible as it is turning into a ticking time bomb.
As of 1998, illegal migrant voters were in majority in 40 assembly constituencies in Assam and this explains briefly the gravity of the situation.
S K Sinha's recommendations need to be implemented
Lieutenant General (retd) S K Sinha who served as the governor of Assam and Jammu and Kashmir had prepared a detailed report on the problem. He had made 14 recommendations. The recommendations need to be implemented as it appears to be the only or most feasible way of solving the problem of illegal migration.
There were various recommendations that had been made which included fencing the border properly apart from updating the National Register of Citizens. However none in the Congress were supportive of his recommendations. Some 14 MPs of the Congress had even demanded his recall.
One of the main recommendations of fencing the 262 kilometre with Bangladesh needs to be implemented at the earliest. Only proper fencing would ensure that more migrants do not come in and snatch away the rights of the locals.
The lack of fencing will not only contribute to more migrants coming in, but will also help terrorist groups push in their cadres like was the case of Kashmir several years back before the 700 kilometre fencing was done in record time.
Dealing with the existing illegal migrants
Sending the migrants back to Bangladesh is not an option at all. It would be impossible to undertake such an exercise owing to humanitarian grounds. There is a good chance they will be stuck in the middle of no where since even Bangladesh will not take them back.
Migrants from Bangladesh have importance as long as they have voting rights. Depriving them of voting rights would be the first priority for the BJP government. This would ensure that political parties do not pamper them and attempts to bring in more to build a vote bank would stop immediately.
The other step would be to deny them rights to acquire property in India. This has been a core issue that the Hindus in Assam have been complaining about.
The Hindus have complained that they are being deprived of their rights in areas where the illegal migrant population is high.
If these rights are deprived, the locals would feel at ease. Moreover the lack of such incentives which the migrants would never get back in Bangladesh would also act as a deterrent for them to illegally enter and stay in India.