'Immigrant' goof-up in vision document: Don't play with nation's unity, says Narendra Modi

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New Delhi, Feb 4: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Wednesday defended the party over the Vision Document goof-up calling northeastern people "immigrants" and said the issue was being raked up for political benefits.

"Attempts are being made to provoke people from northeast... a mistake was made and the party accepted it," Modi said addressing a BJP election rally in Ambedkar Nagar of Delhi.

'Immigrant' goof-up in vision document: Don't play with nation's unity, says Narendra Modi.
"No one should play with the unity of of the country for political benefits," the prime minister said.

The comments came as Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)called its Vision Document reference to northeastern people in Delhi as "immigrants" an "inadvertent mistake" and regretted it.

"Due to an inadvertent mistake the word immigrant was used in the Vision Document. The party regrets this," Bharatiya Janata Party leader Ravi Shankar Prasad said here Wednesday.

"The word immigrant was used in the heading, but the paragraph ahead used the word migrant," he said at a press conference.

"Our brothers and sisters from northeast are proud citizens of India wherever they are. The BJP walks an extra mile to ensure their safety and this mistake is regretted," said Prasad, the communications and information technology minister.

On Tuesday, the BJP released its Vision Document for Saturday's Delhi elections. It carried a paragraph promising security of people from northeast, the heading for which said: "North eastern immigrants to be protected".

"Special cells in all police stations and special 24-hour helpline numbers to be set up for the protection of the northeastern migrants. To safeguard the students of north east origin, special guardianship will be arranged with local families for them," the document added.

The special reference to people from the northeast in the party's Vision Document found mention as there have been many incidents of attacks on people from the region in Delhi.

But an edited version was published on the BJP website Wednesday with the word "immigrants" removed as well as the reference to "migrants" in the subsequent elaboration.

The heading was changed to "People from the North East in Delhi to be protected".

"Special cells in all police stations and special 24 hour helpline numbers to be set up for the protection of the North Eastern People living in Delhi," the edited version said.

"To safeguard the Students of N.E. (northeast) origin, special guardianships will be arranged with local families for them," it added.

IANS

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