Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Amit Shah referred to Muslim illegal immigrants as “termites”, and promised to throw them into the Bay of Bengal. His statement has badly exposed the party’s extremism towards Muslims.
“Infiltrators are like termites in the soil of Bengal,” Shah said on Thursday at a rally in West Bengal, as voting in India’s 39-day general election started. “A Bharatiya Janata Party government will pick up infiltrators one by one and throw them into the Bay of Bengal,” he said, referring to illegal immigrants from neighbouring Muslim-majority Bangladesh.
The comments from Shah, the right-hand man of Modi, drew criticism from the main opposition Congress party as well as minority groups. On Twitter, some users likened his speech to a suggestion of ethnic cleansing. “The statement is a direct attack on the identity and integrity of the nation as a secular state,” the Kerala Christian Forum, a group from the southern state, said in a statement. It demanded an apology from Shah.
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