Gogoi said the Assam government strongly opposed the proposal on the ground that illegal migration from Bangladesh was a very sensitive issue for the state and the other northeastern states.

He said the visa-free entry would have repercussions in terms of negative public reaction.

The proposal for visa-free entry was made during a meeting at the External Affairs Ministry in New Delhi on June 11, he said.

Gogoi had earlier said Narendra Modi-led government had proposed visa-free entry for Bangladeshi nationals below 18 years and over 65 years.

The BJP’s Assam unit spokesperson had earlier on Sunday said that there was no such proposal by the NDA government.

The spokesman clarified that it was a proposal by the Bangladesh government which the Centre had sent to the state for its feedback.

The BJP accused Gogoi of compromising with 'national security' by divulging the details of the proposal.

Meanwhile, Gogoi said that he cannot maintain a silence on such a sensitive issue and added that he would be failing in his duty if he does not let the people of the state know about it.

"The people of the state have the right to know about such a sensitive issue. I would be failing in my duty if I do not place the matter before them," he said.

The Chief Minister said that he disclosed the issue not with a view to gain political mileage but to put matters straight before the people.

"Union Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports Sarbananda Sonowal may label my disclosure as a political gimmick. What I have disclosed is based on record. Why should such a sensitive issue concerning the people of Assam be put under a veil of secrecy? The BJP has taken a complete U-turn on the influx issue," he added.


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