The Bharatiya Janata Party on Wednesday sharpened its attack on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, accusing him of being a "mute spectator" amid escalating ethnic violence in Assam which has claimed over 40 lives.
The opposition party also demanded a straight answer from the prime minister on the communal violence in the state which he himself represented and blamed the Congress-led Central and State government for bringing the matter to such a pass.
"Prime Minister Manmohan Singh represents Assam in Parliament. It is unfortunate that he has turned a mute spectator on the increasing violence in Assam and the grim flood situation there," BJP general secretary Ananth Kumar said.
The BJP Core Group, which met today evening at party president Nitin Gadkari's residence, also expressed its serious concern over the situation in Assam.
Others who were also present at the meeting were BJP leader L K Advani, Leaders of Opposition in both Houses Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitely and other party leaders Murli Manohar Joshi and Rajnath Singh.
Terming the situation arising out of ethnic violence in Assam as "alarming", BJP said it has been forewarning the Centre on this for a long time and said both have totally failed in stopping the violence in Assam.
"BJP would like to have a straight answer from the prime minister on this issue," party spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy told reporters earlier in the day.
Rudy said the problem was not isolated in Assam and should not be dealt in isolation. "The onus of this violence lies totally on the Congress-led government at the Centre," he said, refraining from further comment as it was not interested in politicising this volatile situation.
The BJP fact-finding team headed by Vijay Goel, after visiting the affected area said, "the root cause of this worsening law and order situation in the state is the unchecked influx of the illegal migrants into the state which is causing severe tensions among the local inhabitants."
The BJP also demanded that the Indo-Bangladesh international border be sealed and the Bodo territorial district areas like Kokrajhar and others be cordoned of.
Ananth Kumar said, "the foreign infiltrators are committing violence on Indian tribals (Bodos) and the same should immediately be stopped...The Centre and state government should immediately stop the violence at the hands of foreign infiltrators."
Earlier, Rudy said, "Would the so-called secular Congress government say if they have an answer to this violence? As the violence spread in these districts, the police stations were shut down."
Clashes between minority immigrants and Bodo tribals in lower Assam have claimed at least 40 lives.
Rudy also alleged that contrary to the government figures about those displaced by the violence in Assam, reports suggest that around 5 lakh persons have been displced.
"The most unfortunate part is that there are charges of partiality in the grant of relief to the affected people," he said.
Rudy said the conflict erupted due to the changing demographics of the region following the arrival of Bangladeshi immigrants.
"We have been saying this. The situation came because of the changing demographics of the region. The changing demographic profile of these areas has been alarming. There is a similar situation in other states along the border," Rudy said.