|Opposition BJP's Narendra Modi.|
"You can write it down. After May 16, these Bangladeshis better be prepared with their bags packed," Modi said in Serampore in West Bengal, which shares a porous border with Bangladesh.
Targeting the state's Trinamool Congress government, Mr Modi said, "You are spreading the red carpet for vote bank politics. If people come from Bihar, they are outsiders to you. It people come from Odisha, they are outsiders to you. But if some Bangladeshi comes, your face seems to shine. This country cannot run like this. We won't allow you to destroy the country for the sake of your vote bank politics."
In February, Mr Modi's comments appearing to draw a distinction between Hindu and Muslim migrants had triggered a row.
Some reports suggest that there are about 20 million Bangladeshi immigrants in India at present, but there are no reliable figures. Many of them have reportedly been able to snag voting IDs, ration cards and other documents for legitimacy, allegedly in return for votes. The BJP calls them a drain on the nation's income and resources.
Deporting illegal Bangladeshi immigrants has always been a part of the BJP's agenda, but Mr Modi's sharp comments indicate it could move beyond rhetoric if the party comes to power after the national election.
Recently, BJP president Rajnath Singh said if the BJP came to power, it would investigate "how so many people of a particular community could enter the country illegally and settle down."
|Narendra Modi campaigning in Assam.|
"As soon as we come to power at the Centre, detention camps housing Hindu migrants from Bangladesh will be done away with," Mr Modi told a public rally at Ramnagar in Assam. "We have a responsibility toward Hindus who are harassed and suffer in other countries. Where will they go? India is the only place for them. Our government cannot continue to harass them. We will have to accommodate them here," he said.
Earlier, Hindus from Pakistan had arrived in Gujarat and Rajasthan, but Atal Behari Vajpayee during his prime ministership evolved schemes to accommodate them in different states, he said. Mr Modi alleged that the Assam government as a part of its vote bank politics had violated human rights of Hindu migrants in detention camps.
Speaking on the issue of 'doubtful' voters, Mr Modi said this was also a part of the Congress' vote bank politics of denying a section of the people their right to vote. He urged the Election Commission to remove the tag of doubtful voters and give these people the right to vote to ensure free and fair polls.
Mr Modi said that there were two kinds of people who came from Bangladesh to Assam; those brought as a part of a 'political conspiracy' for vote-bank politics of a particular party and others who were harassed in the neighbouring country.
He said that those brought for vote bank politics and smugglers from Bangladesh should be pushed back, while the second category must find a place in the country.
"Bangladesh is next to Assam, while Pakistan is next to Gujarat. Assam Bangladeshi se pareshan hai par pura Pakistan mujse pareshan hai (Assam is harassed by Bangladesh, whereas Pakistan is bothered by me)," the Gujarat Chief Minister said at his second meeting of the day in the North East.
"You have to decide whether you will continue to tolerate Bangladeshi harassment or put an end to it. I have come to you for your answer. Trust me and as soon as we come to power we will take immediate steps to redress these problems and ensure that justice prevails," he said.
Attacking the Congress, Mr Modi said that the 2014 Lok Sabha polls would mark the beginning of the end of the party.
"After the elections, India will become Congress free and a new road of progress and development will be heralded. The nation has tolerated 60 years of waste and destruction but give me a chance for 60 months and I will translate your dreams and aspirations into reality," he said.
|Narendra Modi campaigning in Bengal.|
He said Assam was bestowed with vast natural and human resources but still it was poor. "Who has looted and destroyed our Assam? Who has given those in power the license to loot?" Assam, he said, faced devastating floods in 2012.
"Where was your chief minister then? He was in America and Japan and when asked about it, had said that he was studying flood management techniques in America. Can you build the future of the state and the youths with this kind of people?"
Stating that the East-West Corridor was initiated during the prime ministership of Atal Bihari Vajpayee connecting Saurashtra in the west to Silchar in the east, he said, "Our work is done but it remains incomplete in this region.
"Who is responsible for this? They have to answer the people because this is just not a mere road but a road to progress and development," he said. Mr Modi said that the railway broad gauge conversion in Assam also remained incomplete.
Stating that the North East is 'our Lakshmi', he said "Where there is Lakshmi there is prosperity. We want both Lakshmi and Saraswati in the North East, but if Lakshmi comes where will she sit here? You know Lakshmi sits on the 'Kamal' (lotus) and to ensure wealth and prosperity, the lotus must be brought to power."
|Narendra Modi campaigning in Assam.|
Mr Modi, the BJP's prime ministerial candidate was quoted by Press Trust of India as saying, "Aren't rhinos the pride of Assam? These days there is a conspiracy to kill it. I am making the allegation very seriously. People sitting in the government...to save Bangladeshis... they are doing this conspiracy to kill rhinos so that the area becomes empty and Bangladeshis can be settled there." He was addressing an election rally in Dhemaji, a remote district on the north bank of the Brahmaputra river.
And he also warned that the poaching of rhinos would not be tolerated, "Those who are conspiring to finish off rhinos, they should listen to this carefully. After May 16, they will be taken to task one by one (chun chun ke hisab liya jayega)."
A number of opinon polls say Mr Modi is the frontrunner for the top post of PM. "We have to save the future of Assam. It is our responsibility to save it from forces which are looting the state," he promised.
The BJP leader also said local people increasingly faced unemployment as people migrating from Bangladesh were taking up jobs in India. He said it was the demand of time that these "intrusions" stopped.