Murshidabad: The Gateway of Bangladeshi Infiltrators Crucial in Bengal Polls

Total Views |
 -Debjani Bhattacharyya
a_1  H x W: 0 x
West Bengal is moving towards Assembly Poll in a few more months. Political arguments are heating up between the ruling party & BJP as Poll Strategist Prashant Kishor commented BJP's number of seats wouldn't cross double-digit. Much before the argument cooled down, Barkha Dutt & Vasudha Venugopal wrote the same content in almost identical language respectively for Hindustan Times & Economic Times stating which districts of West Bengal posed as opportunity areas for Trinamool Congress. Both of them named the districts where Muslims were present in good numbers to be a hotbed of TMC politics. The journos indirectly pointed at TMC's polarized standpoint in favour of Muslims. However, after the same report featured in two different news portals by two different journals, Social Media was stormed with sarcastic assertions that such reports were, in fact, factory-made by Prashant Kishor & spread across the public domain utilizing renowned pens.
Such reports & Kishor's speculation about BJP's performance may be looked upon against ground facts of West Bengal where the ruling party has a silent & dedicated vote bank made up of infiltrators who creep in predominantly through Murshidabad district. Did Murshidabad happen to be a point of infiltration by chance? Or did both Central & State Governments deliberately keep it a point of infiltration? We'll find it out from pertinent observations.
Murshidabad, one of 10 districts of West Bengal sharing an international border with Bangladesh, is documented to be a major point of infiltration of illegal immigrants. As per social theorist Ashis Nandy, "Bengal, incidentally, is one of the biggest suppliers of labour to Maharashtra", reported Times of India in June 2018. Not only to Maharashtra, but Bengal is also one of the biggest suppliers of labour to other parts of India too. As per a joint study conducted by the International Centre For Research on Women, ICRW & UNICEF, 'Murshidabad district of West Bengal exports a very large number of migrants, both males & females.' Murshidabad being a Muslim-majority border district, illegal immigration from Bangladesh through Murshidabad is high. These migrants are silent vote banks mainly of West Bengal's ruling party & also of Congress & CPM in places. Though they enter through Murshidabad, the ghost voters remain distributed all over the State. Home Minister Amit Shah once termed these people as 'termites'. The open secret is—voter cards of many of these migrants unofficially remain in the custody of 'powerful' local leaders. Even if they aren't present in the State during Elections & continue to be in their work elsewhere in India, their votes are cast. The LEFTs functioned in this manner. TMC too follows its predecessor's footprint. This is the reason why the voting percentage in West Bengal Elections remain much higher than elsewhere in India. A sizable percentage of votes are cast by rigging personnel.
A significant portion of these ghost voters is Bangladeshis. Recent news of an unnatural rise in a number of voters & number of booths thereby in Muslim dominated areas of Kolkata like Topsia, Metiabruz may be corroborated with the fact that though the infiltrators predominantly traverse across Murshidabad, they do not remain restricted there. Apart from Murshidabad, other border districts like Malda, North & South 24 Parganas have 'power machinery' to let infiltrators in. They get Indian identity documents containing mostly fictitious addresses: someone else's & Bangladeshi immigrants are given their Indian documents just using those addresses. WB CM's rebellious recalcitrance against the Constitutional guidelines is perhaps based on this vote bank. Did Prashant Kishore take this vote bank into account in predicting a number of seats for BJP & in manufacturing news thereof? The reader may find other information interesting & relevant. Removing IAS Sunil Kumar Gupta, IAS Aariz Aftab was made the Chief Electoral Officer of West Bengal in 2017. Many infiltrators enter West Bengal exclusively during Elections to cast a vote. CEO, West Bengal, Aariz Aftab has important duties to perform hence.
Out of 10 West Bengal districts that share an international border with Bangladesh, only Murshidabad does not have any SC, ST constituencies near the border. Logic thereof is unclear. Out of total 294 constituencies of West Bengal, 68 are reserved for SCs & 16 for STs. This implies that 23.12% of WB seats are SC seats & 5.44% seats are ST seats. Shouldn't the reserved seats of each district of West Bengal be ideally distributed in this ratio? Likewise, out of 22 Assembly Constituencies of Murshidabad, 5 seats for SC & 1 seat for ST could have been the right proportion while the district presently has only 3 reserved seats namely Nabagram, Khargram & Burwan & all 3 are away from Indo-Bangladesh border, nearer to Birbhum. While all other districts of the Indo-Bangladesh border have a number of SC-ST seats on their border, why's Murshidabad an exception? Out of 22 constituencies of Murshidabad, though 16 are near the border & only 6 are reasonably distant from Bangladesh, all the 3 reserved constituencies fall amongst those 6. What may be the probable reason for not keeping any of the 16 border-adjacent constituencies of Murshidabad reserved for SC-STs? Perhaps to let Muslims fight from these seats to enable unhindered infiltration from Bangladesh. This anomalous distribution of reserved seats in Murshidabad is instrumental in distorting West Bengal's demography. If Candidates are Muslims, illegal Bangladeshis are allowed to infiltrate into India for the sake of the Islamic Brotherhood. However, if candidates are SC-ST Hindus, Bangladeshi Muslims would contemplate threat to face resistance to pour in here. If a few border constituencies get reserved for SC-STs in Murshidabad, infiltration of Bangladeshi Muslims is expected to reduce. Is that why all border seats of Muslim-majority Murshidabad are kept under the GENERAL category?
Murshidabad's exceptional distribution of reserved seats could not have been possible without a Centre-State synchronous harmony. In the current Assembly of West Bengal, 13 Assembly Constituencies of the district are represented by Congress, 3 by CPM & 6 by TMC. Looking at such electoral performances of all Congress, Left & TMC, it's not illogical to hypothesize that Congress Party at the Centre & State Parties of West Bengal agreed upon to keep Murshidabad an 'entry-point' for 'mutual electoral benefit'.
Muslims need to represent the constituencies of Muslim-majority Murshidabad for democratic justice is an argument that contradicts the core spirit of West Bengal as a Hindu Homeland. Bengal may never forget its bloody History of Partition & creation of West Bengal thereafter as a Hindu Homeland. Bengalis were recklessly slaughtered by Islamists & are still being persecuted in Islamic Bangladesh. Hence, any political intention that may move West Bengal's demographic index with pro-Muslim bias may be administratively discouraged. Despite being Muslim-majority, as Murshidabad is part of a Hindu Homeland, many Muslims living in the district may be represented by Non-Muslims to prohibit a further change in the demography of the State & prevent infiltration. Any changes in demography anywhere in West Bengal should logically, morally & ethically be pro-Hindu. One strategic measure to install a check on infiltration may be to declare at least 4 border constituencies of Murshidabad reserved for SC-STs at the earliest.