New Delhi: Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday set a deadline of 2024 to conduct the National Register of Citizens (NRC) exercise across the country, even as a verbal war of words erupted between the BJP and the Congress in the Lok Sabha over the latter’s Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury’s ‘infiltrators’ jibe at Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Speaking in Jharkhand’s West Singhbhum, the Home Minister, slamming Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, said, “Rahul Gandhi asks why the government wants to bring NRC. He asks us as to why we want to expel the infiltrators. He asks where will they go, where will they live. Are they his cousins or what?”

“Before 2024, the BJP will evict every single infiltrator from the country,” Shah, who is also the party’s national president, further said.

Jharkhand is currently in the middle of five-phase Assembly Elections, the first phase of which was conducted on November 30. The other four phases are scheduled for December 7, 12, 16 and 20. Counting of votes will be done and result announced on December 23.

This is for the second time in recent days that Shah has given a tough statement on the NRC. Last month, speaking in Rajya Sabha, he had said that the NRC would be implemented across the country. He has been a vocal advocate of the exercise, despite opposition and criticism from various quarters, including many within the BJP itself.

It was in reference to this, that Chowdhury, who is the Congress’ leader in the lower House, had remarked that the Prime Minister and the Home Minister themselves are ‘migrants’ as despite being from Gujarat, they are staying in Delhi.