India urging Bangladesh to curb illegal migration: Sonia

Jowai (Meghalaya), Feb 19 (IANS) India has urged Bangladesh to take "concrete steps" to prevent its citizens from crossing across illegally into India, Congress president Sonia Gandhi said Tuesday.

"We are aware that much still needs to be done and many issues (exist) such as those related to immigration. We are presently engaging with the Bangladesh government to stem illegal immigration (which is) of concern to you," she said addressing a party election rally here.

"I am hopeful that we will reach a solution to the satisfaction of all sides," Gandhi said.

Several social organizations in Meghalaya had demanded implementation of inner line permit (ILP) to restrict entry of illegal Bangladeshi immigrants to the state.

Stressing that she was aware that illegal mining is a threat to the environment in mineral-rich Meghalaya, the Congress president said: "We have taken some measures and shall continue in our effort."

Describing Meghalaya as one of the fastest growing states not only in the northeastern region, but in the country as a whole, Gandhi said: "This is a success, not just social or financial terms but also in administrative terms."

Praising her party government, she said: "I can say with some measure of satisfaction that, under the current government, Meghalaya has witnessed a very productive and peaceful period in the history of the state. In many ways, Meghalaya has grown far more rapidly than most other states in the country."

Noting that Meghalaya has ushered in an era of peace, prosperity and stability that is unique in the history of this mountainous state, Gandhi said: "This is a development of which everyone can be proud. This is growth in which everyone has a share."

She said Meghalaya is home to a dynamic, talented and hard-working people but "more importantly, it is home to a very promising population of the young women and men who are capable of contributing significantly to the state's progress".

Urging the people of Meghalaya to give a clear mandate to the Congress, Gandhi said that if Congress returns to power, its government would continue building new facilities and upgrading existing ones to ensure that no one is denied basic medical services.

She also promised that the Congress government would also develop sporting facilities so that the abundance of sporting talent in the state is properly nurtured.