'Bangladeshi Muslims want to increase their population in India.'
'They have made colonies in India.'
'Rohingyas are doing the same.'
'This has to stop.'
'If the Bharatiya Janata Party is voted to power in Bengal, then we will implement the National Register of Citizens in the state too.'
'We will send back the illegal immigrants to Bangladesh. Tough days are ahead, we will not tolerate any illegal immigrants in Bengal.'
With these statements, West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh kickstarted a furore, with the Congress and Communist Party of India-Marxist leaders alleging that his statements reflected the "anti-Bengali mindset" of his party, which it alleged was trying to 'import Hindi heartland culture' in Bengal.
Speaking to Rediff.com's Syed Firdaus Ashraf, Ghosh, below, explains how the presence of 10 million Bangladeshis has made life hell for the people of Bengal because of their illegal activities -- be it terrorism or minting fake currency.
On Monday you said if the BJP was voted to power in Bengal, you would push for the National Register of Citizens on the same lines as in Assam. Why would you want that?
First and foremost, the Supreme Court of India said that all border states must have an NRC.
Secondly, there are one crore (10 million) illegal Muslim Bangladeshis living in West Bengal. They wield a huge influence on the politics of the state because of their huge numbers.
They also have a huge hand in terrorism, be it guns or fake currency or even making bombs.
They have made life hell for the people of Bengal and therefore, I said all these unwanted elements must be thrown out.
The CPI-M, which was ruling Bengal, always denied that illegal Bangladeshis were present in Bengal, so who would have dared to throw them out?
The CPI-M made them voters. And because of that Bengal's economy also suffered.
Till the time illegal Bangladeshis are not thrown out of Bengal, the state will be in a state of turmoil.
How have you arrived at this figure of 1 crore Bangladeshi immigrants residing in West Bengal? Where is the proof?
Many of them get caught. And many of them are in jails too.
Now a new trend has emerged from the Mamata (Banerjee) government (which rules Bengal). They are making Rohingya Muslims too settle down in Bengal. So shall we call Rohingya Muslims Indians too?
This is how appeasement politics works in Bengal. They do all this for votes.
The CPI-M did this for 34 years and now the Trinamool Congress is doing the same now as these illegal immigrants are supporting the TMC.
It is alleged that the BJP wants to communalise the NRC issue.
After Partition, the Hindus of Bangladesh are running helter-skelter today. This is not the case for Muslims as they took away their own country, Bangladesh (East Pakistan earlier).
So, why are Bangladeshi Muslims now migrating to India? It means that they have some hidden agenda. They are doing anti-social work in India.
Under the garb of targeting Bangladeshi Muslims, are you not targeting the Muslims of Bengal?
We have no problem with the Muslims of West Bengal; they are here for decades. We are targeting Bangladeshi Muslims.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee says you are polarising the community.
Mamata Banerjee has made camps for Rohingyas in Bengal. Bangladesh is not keeping Rohingya Muslims, why should India keep them?
Mamata is doing it because they (the Trinamool) want to convert those Rohingya Muslims into votes.
The BJP is not interested in votes; we work in the interest of the country.
One crore is a huge number.
Yes, it is. You check in big cities like Mumbai and Delhi, you will find so many Bangladeshi Muslims. They have made colonies across India.
Rohingya Muslims have settled down in Jammu. It is a big threat to our security.
If you are an outsider in Bengal, you will not be able to differentiate between a West Bengal citizen and a Bangladeshi citizen.
They have a different accent and we, from West Bengal, can identify them. They are settled everywhere around the border of India.
They have also won panchayat elections in West Bengal. Today, they are controlling the panchayats of West Bengal.
They will loot our country's money. They indulge in cow smuggling and all this happens out in the open.
Malda is a corridor of fake currency.
The Bangladesh economy is doing well. Why would Bangladeshis come to India?
The problem with Bangladesh is that they have a huge population. There are no jobs in that country.
Another problem with these Bangladeshi Muslims is that they want to increase their population in India. They have this pan-Islamic mindset.
When Partition took place, West Bengal had 5 Muslims MLAs. Today we have around 60 Muslim MLAs.
Doesn't this statement of yours prove that the BJP wants to scare Hindus by showing that the Muslim population is multiplying manifold?
In Gujarat and Haryana, how many Muslims are there? The BJP never scared the voters of those states about Muslims and still we won.
People love the BJP and therefore, they vote for the BJP. The BJP's stance is for development and everyone knows that.
Our opponents are scaring Muslims that if the BJP comes to power they will be killed in broad daylight. Today, hundreds of Muslims are joining the BJP in Bengal.
Bengali Muslims are the poorest as compared to other Muslims in the country. This is what the (Justice Rajinder) Sachar committee report stated too.
Still Mamata Banerjee wins elections in Bengal.
We will see during the Lok Sabha election of 2019. In Bengal, local elections do not take place.
In the panchayat elections, in more than 30 per cent seats no Opposition candidate contested as they were not allowed to file their nominations (allegedly because TMC workers prevented them).
That case is going on in the Supreme Court. 42 per cent of people were not allowed to vote in panchayat elections in Bengal.
In Assam, 40 lakh people have been left out of the NRC. Now, you want to declare one crore people as illegals in West Bengal. What will you do with them once you identify these 'illegals'?
Let us first find them.
The government makes a budget for 10 people and then it turns out that there are 15 people. So these five eat into government resources.
This is exactly what is happening in West Bengal. At least, don't give them government subsidies.
The least we can do is cancel their voting rights. Make sure that they do not get bank loans.
If these things happen, then the next wave of illegal immigrants will stop coming.
Does Bengal still witness an influx of illegal immigrants?
Yes. They are coming even now.
They gun down our BSF (Border Security Forfce) officers when they are smuggling cows.
If our borders are not safe, how can our country be safe? These things have to stop.
India is not a dharamshala for Bangladeshi refugees.
They have come and made colonies in India. Rohingyas are doing the same. This has to stop.
All India United Democratic Front MP Badruddin Ajmal says the BJP is politicising the NRC because it wants to weaken the Muslims politically so that Muslim candidates don't win elections.
Ajmal's own MLA has come from Bangladesh.
Can you name him?
I don't recall his name. The people in Assam know about this.
Why did the Bodo movement start?
It started because Bangladeshis came and grabbed their land in Assam.
The Congress gave these Bangladeshis protection in Assam. Now, the Bodos are with the BJP as we are giving them security.
What about Bangladeshi Hindus? Are they also coming to India?
Their life and property are not protected in Bangladesh. Their temples are being broken.
Hindu girls are being kidnapped in Bangladesh. So they are forced to come to India.
One can understand that, but why do Bangladeshi Muslims come to India?
They asked for a separate country in 1947 and they got East Pakistan. Now why do they want to come to India?
The people of Assam don't want Bangladeshi Hindus to come to their state.
In Maharashtra, people do not want Biharis to come. Why?
It happens because if people migrate from one state to another in big numbers, then nobody wants their rights to be snatched.
In Assam, they are upset because Bangladesh is a different country altogether.
Today, Assamese fear they will become a minority in their own state.