With BJP deciding to focus on identity issues in the coming elections, Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das says there is a need for a National Register of Citizens (NRC) in his state also to check infiltration from Bangladesh because Hindus have become a minority in some districts.
He also favours job reservations on the basis of economic backwardness and called for a consensus on the issue.
“We will take all Bangladeshis out one by one. There is no doubt about it. In Pakur, Hindus are now in a minority. Bangladeshis are more than 50 per cent in Pakur while the numbers have increased significantly in Sahebganj, Godda and Jamtara districts. We will implement NRC in Jharkhand,” Das told IANS in an interview during a visit organised by the BJP’s Good Governance Cell.
The Jharkhand government has approached the Union Home Ministry in this regard and is waiting for its response for initiating the exercise.
The Chief Minister accused the political parties of patronising Bangladeshi infiltrators across the state and said the issue needs to addressed at the earliest.
“It is very unfortunate that Congress has been doing votebank politics even after 67 years of our independence. All these problems are due to Congress’ votebank politics. They did politics for breaking the country while we (BJP) are doing politics to unite the country,” he said.
He alleged that Sahebganj, Pakur, Godda and Jamtara are the worst-hit districts where hundreds of illegal migration of Bangladeshi infiltrators has taken place in Jharkhand.
Seeking job reservations on the basis of the economic criteria, the chief minister demanded a national-level discussion on the issue to evolve a consensus.
“I am in favour of reservation on the basis of economic condition. In society, everybody is not rich. It is not that all those belong to upper caste are rich. I am in favour of it. There are poor people in every society. The issue needs to be discussed and a consensus needs to be evolved, he said.
The Chief Minister also backed the idea of ‘One Nation, One Election’ but rejected any advancing of dates for the Assembly polls in Jharkhand along with the Lok Sabha polls in 2019. Assembly polls are scheduled in Jharkhand six months after the Lok Sabha polls.
“I am also in favour of one nation, one election. The Prime Minister has given a call for debate on the issue. An atmosphere in its favour must be created by debate and discussion. It is not that we want and they want. It’s a matter of consensus. It needs to be passed by parliament. If a consensus is evolved, there may be simultaneous polls of Lok Sabha and Assemblies in 2024, he said.
Asked whether he would go for Assembly polls together with Lok Sabha polls, he said: our election will be at its scheduled time and Lok Sabha elections will be at its scheduled time. There are no ifs and buts. Why would I go for early polls. My condition is not bad.”
The Chief Minister said that there would be no impact of the grand alliance in 2019 and claimed that the BJP under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi would again emerge victorious.
“Whether it is alliance or grand alliance (mahagathbandhan), we are not worried at all. Can oil and water mix together? Even when you mix oil and water together they will still separate. Our focus is on strengthening the organisation. We have a leadership like Modiji, on whom the people of the country have strong faith.”
(Brajendra Nath Singh can be contacted [email protected])