The government will throw out all infiltrators from the country before 2024, Home Minister Amit Shah said on Monday in Jharkhand ahead of a debate in Parliament on a bill that to fast-track grant of Indian citizenship to members of religious minorities from Muslim-majority Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan.
Shah, who was back in Jharkhand to address an election meeting for the state elections being held in five phases, also targeted Rahul Gandhi for objecting to a nationwide citizens’ register and the expulsion of the “infiltrators”.
“Shouldn’t infiltrators be booted out of this country and Jharkhand,” Shah asked at a meeting in Baharagora town of Jharkhand’s East Singhbhum district.
“But Rahul baba,” Shah said, a derisive reference to the Congress leader Rahul Gandhi who was also in the state to address an election meeting 300 km away, “objects to the national citizen register. He says don’t expel them. Where will they go, what will they eat”.
“But let Rahul say what he wants. I have come here to assure you that before 2024, we shall evict each and every infiltrator from the country,” added Amit Shah, who had started his speech by listing achievements of the Raghubar Das government at the state and the Narendra Modi government at the Centre.
“I can go on and on,” he told the meeting before shifting to the NDA government’s move to scrap Article 370 that he said, ensured that Kashmir will remain with India for good and the recent verdict of the Supreme Court in the Ayodhya title dispute.
Shah’s emphasis on rolling out the National Citizens’ Register for the entire country comes amid a continuing back-and-forth between his party and Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee over implementing the citizens’ list.
The government has already announced that Assam – the first state where the register was rolled out under the Supreme Court’s supervision – would go for a fresh list. It has insisted that the exercise was not aimed at people from minority communities such as Muslims as was being suggested by opposition leaders.