In a massive admission about Bangladeshi infiltration in Assam, Congress' former Gauhati MP Kirip Chaliha on Thursday stated that the state's former CM Hiteswar Saikia had compromised due to political intentions in 1994, thus resulting in increased Bangladeshi infiltration into the state, in Republic TV's Debate with Arnab Goswami. Chaliha had stated that while he did not quit the party, he did oppose the then-CM during the Assam Movement against foreigners. This comment comes between the faceoff between BJP and Congress over detention centres in Assam.
"I did not quit the party. I opposed him (Hiteshwar Saikia). He was compromising because of political intentions," he said, when by Republic Media Network's Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami asked if the Congress stopped the Bangladeshi infiltration in the state.
Earlier in the day, conceding that detention centres were first constructed by the UPA government, former Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said that the centres were first built in Assam under High Court's orders for detaining declared foreigners. He added that the BJP government too allocated Rs. 46.41 crores in funds to construct the bigger detention centre in Goalpara to house 3000 inmates. He said that as that the 'foreigners' were needed to be housed somewhere as Bangladesh was not accepting genuine foreigners then.
"Yes, we did it under the instructions of the High Court in 2009. According to the judge, we could not detain those declared foreigners in normal jail, then where will we detain them? So the government did as per the orders. Subsequently, the government of India allotted funds also in 2018 for constructing a big centre in Goalpara. It is also the BJP government which supported this detention centre for housing around 3000 inmates," he said.
When asked about the detention camps in Assam, he said that now there was no need of these centres as the Bangladesh government has agreed to accept a genuine list of Bangladeshis. Casting doubt on the Centre's intentions he said that the government was confused on NRC and did not know how to move forward. He said it was an attempt to hide the government's intentions.
Earlier in the day, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra showed a 2011 press release on three detention camps in Assam built during the UPA-2 era. He stated that the detention of 362 'illegal immigrants' was done in these centres prior to their deportation. Claiming that no detention centres had been constructed by the NDA government, he called Gandhi the 'King of Lies'. Patra was slamming Rahul Gandhi's tweet in which he had shared a news clip showing the detention centre in Assam's Goalpara stating that the Home Ministry in 2018 had sanctioned Rs. 46.41 crores to construct it, which has allegedly been 70% completed.