JORHAT, April 6 - Stressing the utmost need of a bilateral agreement between India and Bangladesh to deport the illegal migrants, former Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said here on Wednesday that deportation of the foreigners will not be successful if the neighbouring country is not compelled through an agreement to take back their own citizens who infiltrated to Assam through the porous border.
Addressing a press conference at the Jorhat Press Club, Gogoi said the government will be able to send back the illegal migrants to Bangladesh only after signing a bilateral agreement for the deportation of the aliens who have been posing threat to the demography of the State. No such agreement was signed for the deportation purposes by any government till this period, he said.
�This is the best time to make an agreement with Bangladesh as India�s relationship is with the neighbouring country is at its best now. Bangladesh must be convinced by the Central government to take back its citizens who infiltrated from that country to our State,� said Gogoi.
Asked whether any illegal migrant could be returned properly to that country during his rule, the former Chief Minister said that the government agencies could not send back any illegal migrant to the neighbouring country properly even after the detection process was done under legal provisions.
�During the period of Congress government, I had strongly argued before the then Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh to make an agreement with Bangladesh government for the deportation of the illegal migrants. But, that time the relationship between the two countries was not so good and unfortunately it could not be done,� said Gogoi.
He said the present Indo-Bangladeshi relationship is very good for initiating the process for an agreement in this regard. He also demanded the State government to expedite the works for updating the NRC, which will help the government agencies immensely to find out the illegal migrants in the nook and corners of the State.
The former Chief Minister, however, criticised the present State government for spending a huge amount of money on the most recently celebrated Namami Brahmaputra festival. He reminded the State government of rehabilitating the families affected by the flood and erosion by Brahmaputra and its tributaries.
�I also feel the need for dredging the mighty Brahmaputra and expansion of transportation facilities in the waterways of the State. No doubt, our State is enriched with enough potential for river trade. But, is it good to spend huge amount of money from the government exchequer for paying homage to the river through songs, dance and drama?�
He said that the State government resorted to publicity only to woo the citizens of the State. �The four projects of construction of bridges on Brahamaputra, which were announced by Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Tuesday, were proposed by me during our tenure. These are not new projects of the BJP government,� he said.