After the National Register for Citizens (NRC) in Assam, the BJP in Telangana wants it to be initiated in the southern state. The demand has been put forth in the past by its lone MLA Raja Singh who renewed his call on Saturday, using the opportunity to hit out at his political opponent, Asaduddin Owaisi of the MIM.
“Hyderabad Parliamentarian has given shelter to many Bangladeshi and Rohingyas for his vote bank. It should be implemented from September 17, Hyderabad Liberation Day,” Raja Singh tweeted. (September 17, 1948 was the day the Nizam surrendered to the Indian forces and Hyderabad became a part of the Indian Union)
The legislator also reacted to a tweet quoting Owaisi, with the jibe ``Assam toh jhanki hai Hyderabad toh abhi baaki hai”. (Assam is the trailer, Hyderabad is still to come)
The relatively moderate Telangana unit of the BJP now has backed Raja Singh, pointing out that there is a steady growth of illegal immigrants into the state in general and Hyderabad in specific in the guise of refugees.
In a statement, it says : “BJP considers this trend is growing and illegal immigrants are moving into Telangana State from many borderline states, finding the local environment conducive for their survival. Telangana state government in political connivance with AIMIM is looking the other way, with full knowledge of this dangerous trend. Telangana police has a record of over 5000 illegal rohingyas in the state, while the real numbers seem to be running into lakhs. These illegals are being used by AIMIM in variety of ways apart from using them as illegal voters during elections.”
Calling the illegal immigrants issue as a ‘ticking time bomb’, the BJP warns of dangerous consequences for communal harmony, peace and stable law & order in Telangana.
The BJP has made the demand at a time when its own numbers of illegal immigrants in Assam have been found to be largely inflated.
“Home minister Amit Shah in a speech quoted a figure of 40 lakh `guspethi‘ (illegal immigrants) but now the number has been found to be just 19 lakh. Even in this, many would be able to prove their citizenship. So it has busted the myth of the illegal migrant,” said Owaisi.
Attempts to purge the Telangana population of illegal immigrants can be a hot potato given the number of families especially in the Old city area of Hyderabad, that forge matrimonial alliances with families across the border. The apprehension is that this will be used to target the minority population in general, and cause unrest.
The BJP in Telangana clearly looks at this issue as an opportune handle to push the ruling TRS on the backfoot. Not only is the TRS a friendly party of the AIMIM, it has also been often accused of minority appeasement by the BJP. Its victory in four Lok Sabha constituencies in May has given the BJP more lungpower and it has been vocal on Telangana issues, trying to occupy the principal opposition space in the state, edging out the Congress.