Guwahati, Sep 10: Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today said the Centre should have consulted his government on the issue of regularising the entry and stay of persecuted religious minorities from Pakistan and Bangladesh. “The decision is in line with the state government’s stand on the issue, but we should have been consulted before such an important decision was taken,” he said in a statement here.(Read: Redeem teacher’s pride and prestige for progress: Tarun Gogoi)

On September 7, the Centre decided to allow minority refugees from Bangladesh and Pakistan to stay in India even after expiry of their visas on humanitarian grounds. The central government has decided, on humanitarian considerations, to exempt Bangladeshi and Pakistani nationals belonging to minority communities who have entered India on or before December 31, 2014, in respect of their entry and stay in India without proper documents or after the expiry of relevant documents, a statement issued by the Home Ministry said.

According to Gogoi, it is an issue in which Assam’s interests were directly involved and the matter should have been discussed with the state government before taking the decision to allow the right to stay to those religious persecuted minority people who had entered the country before December 31, 2014.

“It is not something new. We have always asked the Centre to allow these persecuted people to stay in India on humanitarian grounds,” he said. The state government had submitted a memorandum to the Prime Minister on April 20, 2012 demanding that those suffering persecution in these two countries be allowed to stay in India.

The state Cabinet had also adopted a resolution on July 16, 2014 to give right of state in the country to those minorities persecuted in the neighbouring countries, he said. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi always talks about cooperation, united, joint efforts and the spirit of Team India but in reality, he hardly practices what he preaches. This particular decision amply proves this,” he said.