Infiltrators and refugees cannot be placed at par: Jaitley

New Delhi: BJP today defended Narendra Modi’s remarks on illegal immigrants saying it is the root cause of social tension in the North-East and claimed some parties have made it a “secular cause” due to vote bank politics.

“Narendra Modi’s stance against infiltrators is justified and legitimate. We must also understand the difference between an infiltrator and a refugee…To place them at par would be naive,” BJP leader Arun Jaitley said.

He said critics of this view understand the distinction but compulsions of vote bank won’t make them agree to it.

Raising the issue of infiltration of Bangladeshis, he charged that a section of the Congress leadership in Assam had consciously followed the policy of encouraging infiltration since they wanted to offset the domination of the ethnic Assamese in Assam.

He claimed mass infiltration of Bangladeshis has changed the demographic character of Assam, West Bengal and some districts of Bihar.

“The root cause of social tension in several parts of North-east is infiltration. Some political parties in Assam and West Bengal have regrettably made infiltration into a secular cause because infiltrators are their vote bank.”

Jaitley also held Omar Abdullah’s stand on Kashmiri students as “partly correct” for protesting against harassment of Kashmiri youths in Noida but said he was wrong in dragging Modi into it.

The BJP leader said it was not just the BJP’s stand of sending infiltrators back but even the Supreme Court has described it as a silent invasion of India.

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