Shall swim to Italy, then Assam: Bangla envoy


Politics of influx is a necessity of the election in India said the Bangladesh outgoing envoy Syed Muazzem Ali and average Bangladeshi would never prefer India to earn income and rather go to Europe for higher wages.

“People of Bangladesh would prefer to swim in the Mediterranean and go to Italy than come to India. I got three people from Bangladesh to work here but not one stayed for more than six months,” Syed Muazzam Ali, the Bangladesh high commissioner to India, said on Tuesday.

He was addressing a farewell press conference at New Delhi on November 19.

Bangladesh outgoing envoy Syed Muazzem Ali

“Politics of influx is used by some political parties here. There has been so much criticism of Bangladesh in Northeast India because of alleged illegal immigration from our side, but let me tell you that a person of my country would rather swim in the ocean and reach Italy instead of coming to India. A citizen of Bangladesh would like to go to a place where he can earn more but as you know the per capita income in India is not that high,” said Syed Muazzem Ali addressing a farewell press conference at the Press Club of India.

 He bluntly said that in Bangladesh the income of an ordinary person was higher than India and there was no necessity of coming here

Bangladesh envoy’s comments are an oblique criticism of the comments about Bangla citizens who were described as “termites” by the Union Home Minister Amit Shah during the last Lok Sabha election campaign.

While frank on the illegal immigrants’ issue, the high commissioner was careful while answering a question on the National Register of Citizens (NRC), over which the Bangladeshis have expressed concern at different forums.

“It is an internal issue. That is what the Indian leadership has told us time and again. We are conscious of the fact that this is taking place, and we hope you can resolve it,” he said..

The envoy, however, said that Dhaka sent 2.8 million tourists to India in the previous year and has the mechanism to track every citizen who violates conditions of the Indian visa and overstays.

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