BJP party president Amit Shah has said that his party will eject illegal migrants from the country and introduce the National Register of Citizens (NRC) after coming to power at the Centre for a second term, referring to them as 'termites', while addressing rallies at Raiganj and Kalimpong on April 11. Shah also reiterated the BJP's manifesto promise regarding Jammu and Kashmir - i.e. that Article 370 would be scrapped. As the BJP chief was addressing his rallies, the 2019 Lok Sabha elections were being held in the nearby constituencies of Alipurduar and Cooch Behar, which are a part of the Phase 1 election schedule.
During his campaign trail in West Bengal's Kalimpong in Darjeeling Lok Sabha seat and Raiganj seat in North Dinajpur, he also accused Trinamool supremo Mamata Banerjee of questioning the Indian Air Force's air-strikes on Pakistan's terror bases in an alleged effort to appease her minority vote bank, and demanded that she must clarify if she too wants a separate Prime Minister for Jammu and Kashmir like her ally National Conference leader, Omar Abdullah.
"We will remove Article 370 from Kashmir after forming the next BJP government at the Centre," said Shah at Kalimpong in Darjeeling Lok Sabha constituency where the party has fielded industrialist Raju Singh Bisht.
He went on to call the illegal migrants from Bangladesh "termites" and at Raiganj he said that he will throw them out after coming to power for a second consecutive term.
On the West Bengal CM's vehement opposition to the contentious NRC that is currently restricted to Assam, Shah said Banerjee was "misleading" people and vowed to introduce it in every state after winning the polls.
"It is our commitment to bring in NRC across the country to chuck out each and every infiltrator. Unlike Mamata Banerjee, we don't treat infiltrators as our vote bank. For us national security is supreme. We would ensure that each and every Hindu and Buddhist refugee gets citizenship of this."
Time and again, Trinamool supremo Banerjee has claimed that NRC, which seeks to weed out the illegal migrants from Assam, will turn even the legitimate Indian citizens into refugees. The release of the final draft of the NRC had sparked an almighty furore after names of around 40 lakh people were excluded. Mechanisms for recourse were subsequently announced.
Shah also alleged that Mamata-Banerjee-led Trinamool government in West Bengal was only interested in appeasing the minorities. Launching scathing attacks against her government, he went on to say that the Trinamool stood for "appeasement, mafia, and chit-funds."
"Illegal migrants are like termites. They are eating our foodgrains that should go to the poor, they are taking away our jobs. The T of the TMC stands for 'Tushtikaran (appeasemnt), M for mafia and C for chit fund(scams)," Shah said.
Maintaining that the countdown to the "corrupt" Trinamool government's downfall will begin on May 23, when the BJP bags 23 Lok Sabha seats from Bengal, Shah also appealed to the voters to give the saffron party another opportunity to serve them. He said that the elections in West Bengal are about "restoring democracy" in the Trinamool-ruled state.
Till 3 pm, the voter turnout in West Bengal was at 69.94%.
West Bengal along with 19 other States and Union territories has been observing the first phase of 2019 Lok Sabha election. 18 candidates are contesting in two constituencies, which are Cooch Behar and Alipurduar. The main parties are BJP, Congress, Trinamool and Left (CPM, RSP, AIFB). For Phase 1, there are 3844 centres.
(With PTI inputs)