Momen made the remark asked about Shah’s recent comment in an interview that the economically backward people from the neighbouring country sneak in to India in search of food which they do not get in their home land.
“There are many wise people in the world who do not see even after looking, and do not understand, even after knowing,” Momen told a leading newspaper published from Dhaka. “But if he (Shah) has said something like that, I would say his knowledge about Bangladesh is very limited. No one dies of hunger in our country now. There is no ‘monga’ either.”
‘Monga’is a seasonal phenomenon of poverty and hunger that affects people in the northern Bangladesh bordering north eastern India.
Momen also reminded that Bangladesh was ahead of India on many social indices, such as employment and availability of toilets. “Over one lakh people of India work in Bangladesh,” the minister added. “We do not need to go to India.”
In an interview to Bengali daily Anandabazar Patrika, published from Kolkata, Shah earlier this week had said that development had not reached the lower rungs of the border areas of Bangladesh. He was responding to a question on why infiltration from Bangladesh was still on.
“When development begins in any backward country, the richer people get the benefits first, not the poor ones,” Shah had said. “Bangladesh is still going through this process. So, poor people are not even getting food and so they are infiltrating into India,” he was quoted as saying.
The home minister claimed that Bangladeshi infiltrators did not stay in West Bengal alone, but migrated to different parts of the country, including Jammu and Kashmir.
Taking steps to check infiltration from Bangladesh is a major poll promise of the BJP in the West Bengal assembly elections. Several party leaders, including Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, have repeatedly addressed the matter in election rallies.