BJP’s Sympathy for Migrants Amidst Economic Slowdown Raises Questions of Vested Interest
According to the United Nations World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) 2020, a growth rate of 2.5 percent is possible for India in 2020, but a flare up of trade tensions, financial turmoil, or an escalation of geopolitical tensions could derail a recovery.
WESP lowered its GDP growth estimate for India to 5.7 per cent in the current fiscal (from 7.6 percent forecast in WESP 2019). Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who was in Guwahati in August 2019, was asked if the Indian economy was passing through a slowdown. She had then replied, “I may not able to answer it at this moment.” According to many businessmen in Guwahati there is surely a slowdown in the economy but the government is not about to believe the same.
Meanwhile, more than 30,000 displaced Bru tribals from Mizoram, who have been living as refugees in Tripura since 1997, will permanently settle in Tripura. A tripartite agreement was signed to this effect on Thursday. The agreement was signed by representatives of Bru, the Centre and Mizoram government in the presence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah in New Delhi.
The Government of India will provide a rehabilitation package of Rs 600 crores for the resettlement for Brus in Tripura. The signing of the agreement will affect the lives of over 34,000 Brus who had settled in Tripura after they fled ethnic cleansing in Mizoram in 1997.
“After this settlement these rehabilitated tribals will always vote for BJP, even their next to next generation will do so,” said a scholar of Tripura, Chirojyoti Bhattacharjee.
The BJP’s love for migrants can easily be seen across the country as the BJP government amended the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in spite of violent protests consuming the entire country taking away the lives of many.
The protests against the CAA resulted in huge losses to the state governments and even the Centre, but the government went on to amend the Act. It is for the first time that the price of onions in India has touched Rs 140 per kilo and price of other essential commodities are also gradually increasing. But the government is still busy welcoming migrants from other countries. Why?
“The BJP knows that they will not come to power next time in Assam and in India with the kind of work they are doing. Hence, they are increasing their vote banks by providing shelter to migrants and using tax payers’ money to rehabilitate them,” said senior journalist and social activist Manjit Mahanta. He said that BJP is just indulging in vote bank politics.
A state level executive member of BJP from Assam talking to G Plus under condition of anonymity said that the BJP is worried as many voters are currently upset with the party. By October 2020 the migrants who would get citizenship through CAA will have their names added to the voters’ list so that in 17 constituencies of Assam, where BJP has minimal chances of winning, the vote bank increases. Therefore, the BJP is expediting the process of CAA, revealed the source. Even the Bru pact in Tripura was signed so that all the Bru tribals get the right to vote and in future they will be BJP’s loyal voters, the source expressed.
The politics of vote bank is not new in Indian politics but the BJP’s love and sympathy for migrants raises questions of vested interest which probably looks like Hindu and tribal vote banks.