As the 2019 General Elections are around the corner, political analysts and common folks have started guessing what would be that trump card in PM Modi’s sleeve to win the battle of 2019. There are a number of speculations about how it might be the Ram Mandir or bringing back fugitive offender Vijay Mallya, but it increasingly seems like that the trump card will be the National Register of Citizens (NRC). The NRC has turned out to be hugely popular. It was bound to be as illegal immigrants pose a massive threat to security and safety of India. In recent times, illegal immigration has become a major headache for India and an imminent threat to its national security. The difficulties faced by the people of the North-eastern states due to the influx of a large number of illegal Bangladeshi immigrants include, but are not limited to, the loss of employment, business opportunities amongst others. These are accompanied with the destruction of the natural beauty, balance of the society and local culture due to the ever increasing burden of illegal Bangladeshis.
The North-eastern states have been suffering from a very long time due to large influx illegal immigrants but still the Congress party showed no concern for the residents of the Border States. Congress party and its leaders has been reluctant to take up the issue of illegal immigration. Finally, after a long-time a party like BJP came to power which is serious about addressing the menace of illegal immigration.
The NRC has become so popular that now other states also want to carry out the same exercise. After Assam, demand for NRC is also coming from states like Meghalaya, Tripura and Jharkhand. There are reports that NRC has turned out to be so popular that many in West Bengal have switched allegiance to the BJP, and the BJP has also promised to implement NRC in the state if they are voted to power. West Bengal’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Dilip Ghosh said, “If we (BJP) are voted to power in Bengal, then we too will implement the NRC in the state. We will send back the illegal immigrants to Bangladesh. Tough days are ahead, we will not tolerate any illegal immigrants in Bengal.” This statement had gained widespread acceptance in Bengal and the people seem to have rallied behind the BJP like never before in the state.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is vehemently opposing the NRC. Unhappy with Mamata’s stand, Assam TMC president Dwipen Pathak resigned from his post. He is not the only one to quit the party. Diganta Saikia and Pradeep Pachoni, two more leaders from the TMC have also quit the party. This shows the level of dissent which has set in the cadres of the party from the inside, this also explains how important the NRC final draft is for the people of the state of Assam.
One must keep in mind that the list published in the last week is not the final list. Final list is yet to come. Final list is expected to come out in the beginning of 2019. After that, the process of deportation may start. India has already started deporting small groups of illegal immigrants. On Sunday, before the release of the final draft, 52 Bangladeshis were deported from Assam.
If the deportation process begins in full swing during the run-up to 2019 general elections then it will be massively popular move. It will send a positive message, and a huge blow to the likes of Mamata Banerjee. It is an open secret that Mamata’s electoral success in the state of West Bengal has been due to blatant Islamic appeasement that manifests itself in making the West Bengal a safe haven for illegal immigrants’ crossing over from Bangladesh. Mamata Banerjee’s politics would suffer a major setback, if the deportation of illegal immigrants starts just before the 2019 general elections.
This is probably the masterstroke which the Chanakya of BJP Amit Shah and the BJP strategists must be having in their minds. It would be interesting to see whether the things would go out according to plan or not. It would also be interesting to see whether the support for NRC converts into vote for BJP in West Bengal in 2019 elections.