Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said steps will be taken to stop inflow of illegal migrants from Bangladesh and would operationalise land swapping deal for a permanent solution to deal with the problem of infiltration.
“I will make such arrangements, after which all roads will be closed for Bangladeshis coming and destroying Assam daily. Believe my word that land swapping deal will be done for a permanent solution to this problem of Assam,” Modi told a party workers’ rally here.
The deal relates to demarcation of boundary under the Land Boundary Agremeent between the two countries. India and Bangladesh have been negotiating the land swap for years to resolve a long-running border conflict. Modi said a swap would help Assam permanently resolve the immigration issue that has dominated its political landscape for decades.
His assurance comes against the backdrop of strong reservations voiced by BJP’s state unit and Asom Gana Parishad. They have been opposing the deal on the ground that Assam will stand to lose more territory as compared to Bangladesh in the exchange of enclaves. Modi said handing over of land (to Bangladesh) will be done only to ensure security of people of Assam and the border and not for “any harm” to the state. “I am saying this with full responsibility,” Modi said.
On the land swapping agreement, the prime minister said he is aware of emotions of the people of the state and there will be no compromise to Assam’s security. “I know Assam’s problems… I assure you, we will move ahead (with the agreement) considering the country’s and Assam’s welfare. Assam will gain in long term even if it looks like losing in short term,” he said.
Addressing a gathering at Imphal, Modi stressed on augmenting road connectivity and other infrastructure in Manipur so that tourism could flourish and bring development along with it. Making a strong pitch for developing communication infrastructure system at the concluding day of Sangai Manipur Tourism Festival, he said said the state needed better road connectivity to enable more tourists to visit the state.