Guwahati, Nov 24 (IANS) Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi Saturday launched a scathing attack on the Asom Gana Parishad and the Bharatiya Janata Party, accusing them of raking up the illegal Bangladeshi migrants' issue for political advantage and of having pushed the problem under the carpet when the two parties were in power.
The issue of infiltration from Bangladesh "is blown out of proportion" by the opposition Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), he said and added that the issue is raked up by these parties for taking political mileage.
Gogoi touched upon the issue while addressing a huge gathering at the Veterinary College playground at Khanapara area of Assam's main city, where he launched official campaign for the forthcoming panchayat (village council) polls in the state slated for early next year.
At the rally, which was a show of strength of the Congress ahead of the panchayat polls, Gogoi appealed to the people to strengthen the Congress by voting it to power at the panchayat level.
"It is the Congress party which is committed to overall development in Assam. The work of our government in the last 11 years is a proof of that, and we have not only fulfilled the promises made in our election manifestos but beyond them," said the three−time chief minister.
"The opposition parties wake up ahead of elections to blow the issue of infiltration from Bangladesh. I want to ask them what their parties had done to detect and deport Bangladeshi infiltrators living in the state."
"BJP chief Nitin Gadkari recently said that there will be a Bangladeshi chief minister in Assam after 15 years. But I am telling you there will always be genuine Indians who will be the chief minister of Assam," said Gogoi while attacking the BJP president.
"When the BJP was in power in centre, the then prime minister A.B. Vajpayee wanted to give work permits to Bangladeshi infiltrators − in a sense the party was welcoming infiltration. I have objected to that proposal," he said.
"We have started the process of giving voters' identity card in Assam. While the process is completed in some areas, the whole state will be covered in a phased manner and this will help stopping the infiltration from Bangladesh and other foreign countries," Gogoi said.
"The AGP, who ruled the state for ten years, was only sleeping even after signing of Assam Accord in 1985. It is our government which has been implementing the Assam Accord by taking up the issue of updating the National Register of Citizens and taking steps to seal the border with Bangladesh," Gogoi said, adding that the AGP and the BJP are spreading false propaganda against the Congress.