Sealing the India-Bangladesh border to check illegal infiltration will be the top priority of the BJP government in Assam, Sarbananda Sonowal, who led the party to its maiden victory in the state, said on Thursday.
Elated over BJP’s spectular victory in Assam dethroning 15-year rule of Congress, Sonowal said protecting the interests of bonafide Indian citizens, whether they are Hindu or Muslims, will be the focus area of the BJP government.
“First of all we will have to seal the Indo-Bangla border to stop infiltration. We have to prepare within a time frame the NRC (National Register of Citizens) with the names of bonafide Indian citizens. These are two big challenges,” 54-year-old Sonowal said.
Influx of Bangladeshis through the porous Indo-Bangla border has been a major issue in Assam and BJP and its allies had promised during the election campaign to check it.
Sonowal said containing corruption will be another focus area. He said people were fed up with Congress and they wanted change and good government.
“People have accepted our winning combination. This is a great victory. People of Assam have been looking for such a combination… Our main target is to protect the interests of bonafide Indian citizens, whether they are Hindu or Muslims it doesn’t matter. “We have to protect the interests of greater Assamese society, which include Assamese, Bihari Marwaris, Bengalis, Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs… We have to work together, live together and fight together,” he said soon after it became clear that BJP for the first time would get a majority in the 126-seat state assembly.
The Union minister played down challenges to him from within the winning alliance, saying they all have to work together. BJP had stitched an alliance of virtually all regional parties, which represent various sections of indigenous population, to take on Congress and AIUDF, accusing the two parties of supporting infiltrators, mostly Bangladeshi Muslims.