Row over use of Northeast ‘immigrants’ haunts Bharatiya Janata Party

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New Delhi | February 4, 2015 3:36 PM

Use of the word 'immigrants' continued to haunt the BJP notwithstanding its regrets for use of the term in the party's vision document for Delhi elections.

The use of the word “immigrants” continued to haunt the BJP today notwithstanding its regrets for use of the term in the party’s vision document for Delhi elections.

As the Youth Congress workers protested on the streets of Guwahati, BJP apologised and insisted that it was a printing mistake.

“There was unfortunately a printing mistake in the document. We apologise for the mistake,” party spokesperson M J Akbar said. BJP’s vision document for Delhi Assembly polls yesterday sparked a row as it described people from north eastern states in the national capital as “immigrants”, drawing a sharp attack from Congress.

The BJP later claimed it as a “printing mistake”.

“I want to reassure that all the brothers and sisters of the North East living in Delhi are as valuable, as important for BJP as any other citizen,” said Akbar.

There were protests on the streets of Guwahati against mentioning of people from North East residing here as “immigrants”. The 24-page ‘Vision Document’ that entails the party’s roadmap in taking Delhi forward by making it a world-class city and steps in public welfare includes a section on “North Eastern Immigrants to be Protected”.

The section talks of special cells in all police stations and 24-hour helpline numbers to be set up “for protection of north-eastern migrants”. Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju, who hails from Arunachal Pradesh, said “it is a clerical and printing mistake.”

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