#Assam: Illegal immigration in Assam alarming: #Sonowal

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Labelling the situation of ‘illegal immigration’ from Bangladesh “very alarming,” Union Minister and the BJP’s newly appointed Assam chief Sarbananda Sonowal has said that the coming Assembly elections are the “last battle” for the people of Assam. In an interview with The Hindu , Mr. Sonowal said, “This will be a battle that will determine the fate of the people of Assam. This can be treated as the last battle. Otherwise, as you have seen, the growth of illegal migrants and the demographic situation is very alarming for all of us.” “In the census, 34 per cent [Muslim population of Assam] is a very, very sensitively growing figure which has brought about insecurity and the local people have been pushed to [being] a microscopic minority,” he said when asked about the census figures. “It’s a question of the identity of the Assamese society and the BJP has decided to protect it.” He, however, included Assamese Muslims as part of the Assamese society. The RSS had also discussed the 2011 census figures for Assam during a recent meet at Ranchi. Assam goes to polls in 2016 Assam goes to polls in the first half of 2016 and is the only one among poll-bound States in the coming year where the BJP is in with a fighting chance. While there is a Congress government in the State, the BJP had done well there in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. Mr. Sonowal claimed that the State’s voters would reject the Congress this time. He said the BJP was willing to forge an understanding with all groups representing indigenous groups in Assam to win the elections. He said talks were on with the Asom Gana Parishad and other parties. “We have started a dialogue with all local parties,” he said. Slams Gogoi govt. He accused the Congress government under Tarun Gogoi of being hand in glove with the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) of Badruddin Ajmal. “Tarun Gogoi once challenged the stature of Badruddin by asking ‘who is Badruddin?’ Badruddin is a symbol and representative of illegal migrants residing in Assam. When Tarun Gogoi had challenged his stature, the people of Assam had developed an impression that maybe Tarun Gogoi will work for us and fight for our identity and our growth,” Mr. Sonowal said, virtually claiming that there was a soft anti-Bangladeshi Muslim wave that saw Mr. Gogoi through. Claiming that “14 fundamentalist Muslim groups” had formed the AIUDF, Mr. Sonowal said: “Its main interest was to protect the interests of illegal migrants in the State.”

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