New Delhi, Feb 3: BJP's vision document for the Delhi assembly polls today stirred up a controversy by referring people from north eastern states in the national capital as "immigrants", after which Congress demanded an apology and removal of the words.
The 24-page document that entails the party's roadmap in taking Delhi forward by making it a world-class city and steps in public welfare includes a section on "North Eastern Immigrants to be Protected".
To safeguard the students of NE origin, special guardianship will be arranged with local families for them," the document says. Congress was quick to react, with its leader Ajay Maken questioning "is BJP trying to say the people from the North East are not Indian citizens?."
"BJP's vision document has a pointer called 'north-eastern immigrants to be protected'. The word immigrant is used when people move from one country to another, so does BJP consider people from the North-Eastern states as residents of some other country or the north-eastern states according to them are not part of India?
"We demand that they remove that line from the manifesto and apologise to public," Maken said. He said the document with such reference to people from north east comes at a time when External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj is on a visit to China.
"If the ruling party is saying such things in its manifesto then on what basis Swaraj is talking to China about how its force enters the state of Arunachal Pradesh and other areas, we need to understand that," he said.
The national capital has witnessed a spate of racial attacks and discrimination against people from north east in the recent past and a NE student Nido Taniam, son of of an Arunachal MLA, died after being badly beaten by shopkeepers at a Lajpat Nagar market here.
The Centre had formed a special committee headed by North Eastern Council member M P Bezbaruah to recommend steps to address the concerns of people from NE region living across the country.