Madhepura (Bihar): Defending the National Register of Citizens which has been published in Assam and which Union Home Minister Amit Shah has proposed to introduce throughout the country, senior BJP leader Shahnawaz Hussain on Friday said India was "not a dharamshala".
The curt remark was made by Husain, who is BJP national spokesman and former Union minister, at a press meet here where he also made it clear that "people from all parts of the world would be allowed to land on the Indian soil, provided they came with a valid passport and visa.
"We are not running a dharamshala in which anybody can enter and put up for as long as he wished. People from all parts of the world are allowed to come to India. Nobody is barred. But they must do so with a valid passport and must not stay beyond the time stipulated in the visa. Illegal immigration must be cracked down upon", Hussain said.
The BJP leader was responding to queries about the NRC which has caused some consternation in north Bihar districts with heavy concentration of Muslims. The BJP has for long been alleging that the demographic composition owed itself, to some extent, to large-scale infiltration of Bangladeshis which parties in power have allowed for electoral gains.
Hussain also lashed out at former Congress president Rahul Gandhi saying "his tirade against the Narendra Modi government in the wake of the recent developments in Jammu and Kashmir has provided Pakistan with ammunition to demean the Indian position.
"This the second time that Gandhi, a senior opposition leader, has hurt national interests. On the previous occasion he had ridiculed our own armed forces by asking for proof of the surgical strikes".
Asked about the economic slowdown, the BJP spokesman asserted "it is limited to just a few sectors. But even that will be set right in due course".
Replying to a query, he said "there are no differences within the BJP and the JD(U) in Bihar just like there is no difference between chini and shakkar (Hindi synonyms for sugar)".
He also added "the victory of the BJP in assembly polls in Jharkhand, Haryana and Maharashtra is as certain as the sunrise from the east".