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Vajpayee vows to stop Bangladeshi infiltration
G Vinayak in Guwahati |
April 06, 2004 17:25 IST
Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on Tuesday vowed to stop infiltration of Bangladeshis into Assam and assured the people that the Bharatiya Janata Party would do its best to solve the perennial problem of floods in the state.
Making one of his strongest speeches ever on the infiltration issue, Vajpayee who chose Guwahati as the venue to celebrate the 24th foundation day of the Bharatiya Janata Party, said: "India created Bangladesh and we wish Bangladesh all success. But its people should remain happy within the geographical boundaries of that country. We welcome our friends from across the border as guests, but if guests try to occupy our house, we cannot tolerate it."
Launching the BJP's campaign for the 14 Lok Sabha seats in the state, the prime minister recalled how he has always been in Assam during its darkest hour. "I am aware of the massive flood problems that the state faces every year and I assure you that my government will make efforts to get our neighboring countries like China and Bhutan to control the floods."
Listing the initiatives taken up by the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance government for development of the north-east, Vajpayee recalled that it was his government that created a separate ministry for the region. "We are alive to the problems of the region and Assam and we are making all efforts to solve these problems," the prime minister said.
Appealing to the militants of the banned United Liberation Front of Asom to give up arms and come forward for talks as their Naga counterparts have done, Vajpayee said: "Violence will not be able to bring change but peace will. Let's pool our efforts towards building a new Assam."
Asking a moderate turnout of about 20,000 people to return as many BJP candidates as possible from the state, Vajpayee said a stable government at the Centre is a must if India has to realise its dream of becoming a great nation.
Earlier, Bhupen Hazarika, the BJP's biggest catch in Assam, described Vajpayee as the best prime minister of India. Reading out a poem in Vajpayee's praise, the music maestro accused the Congress of "abject neglect of his beloved Assam over the past half-a-century."
Assuring the prime minister that Assam is not a secessionist state, Hazarika sought Vajpayee's help in solving numerous problems of the state.