Guwahati: Former Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi on Friday countered Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s claim that the country does not harbour any detention camps. He asserted that detention camps were asked to be setup by the states during the Atal Bihari Vajpayee era itself.

Gogoi added that after “PM Modi came to power, he gave Rs 46 crore to construct the country’s biggest detention centre with a capacity of 3,000 people”.

“It was the Vajpayee government that first came up with the idea of constructing detention camps to accommodate foreigners who have completed the jail term for illegal entry into India. After Modi came to power, he gave Rs 46 crore to construct the country’s biggest detention centre with a capacity of 3,000 people. How can he now say that there are no detention centres?” NDTV quoted Gogoi as saying.

“When Modi became the Prime Minister in 2014, he did not seriously discuss the issue of detention centres and illegal migrants with the states. His government did not take up the matter with Bangladesh either, and now Modi wants to give the impression that we are still a liberal country. That we don’t detain,” the news channel reported him saying.

It must be noted that had Gogoi headed the Congress government in Assam for three terms from 2001 to 2016.

After the Centre faced flak for passing the Citizenship Law, Narendra Modi, at a rally in Delhi’s Ramlila Maidan, had on December 22 denied the existence of detention camps in India. He had also attacked the opposition who have been critical of the citizenship Law, saying that these parties were indulging in fear-mongering over the CAB.