GUWAHATI, Nov 17 - The Prabajan Virodhi Manch (PVM) today said that based on the estimate provided by Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju yesterday on the floor of the Parliament, it could be assumed that around 80 lakh Bangladeshi nationals are illegally staying in Assam.
These people constitute approximately 25 per cent of the around 3.25 crore population of the State, it said and warned that this way, the indigenous peoples of Assam are going to become minorities in their native place much before 2040.
The PVM resented the fact that the Union Minister did not provide any breakup of such illegal migrants entering different states of the country from the neighbouring country.
While working out the migrant-related figure of the State on the basis of the above statement, the PVM has used the information provided by the State as well as the Central governments in the State Assembly and in the Parliament respectively in the past.
In 1993, the then Chief Minister Hiteswar Saikia had told the State Assembly that around 33 lakh Bangla nationals were staying in Assam. In July 2004, the then Union Home Minister Prakash Jaiswal had told the Parliament that as of 2001, there were 1.2 crore Bangla nationals in India and of them, 50 lakh were in Assam. That reflected that around 40 per cent of such illegal Bangla migrants of the country were staying in Assam.
In 2001, the population of Assam was 2.61 crore and hence 50 lakh would have constituted around 20 per cent of the total population of the State at that time.
Thus, if it is assumed today that 40 per cent of the 2 crore migrants mentioned above, are staying in Assam, the total figure would come to around 80 lakh. Thus the percentage of the illegal Bangla migrants in the State�s total population of around 3.25 crore, will stand to be around 25 and at this rate, the indigenous people of the State would become a minority well before 2040, said the PVM.
PVM convenor Upamanyu Hazarika said, �If the UPA Government in 2004 could give a detailed breakup of migrants distributed over different states, nothing stopped the present government from so doing, as the methodology would have remained the same.
�Had the estimate of the migrants in Assam been given as in 2004, it would have been an independent benchmark to test the correctness of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) updating process and then further steps could have been taken to identify those whose names have been wrongly included in the NRC. This is important for transparency in functioning and the government�s sincerity on the foreigner�s issue.�