Senior Congress leader and former Union minister Manish Tewari on Saturday claimed that 60,000 Indian youth, a substantial number of them from Punjab, have been detained at detention camps along the US-Mexico border.
Tewari said he had personally visited the border area during his recent US visit and was alarmed by the situation there.
Addressing a party workers’ meeting organised by Punjab Congress secretary Satwinder Jawaddi and later during informal conversation with reporters here on Saturday, Tewari said he was told during his visit that 60,000 Indians, who had tried to sneak illegally into the US through Mexico, had been detained by the US authorities.
“Of these, over 90% are Punjabis,” he said.
Expressing concern over the plight of these stranded youth, Tewari said their release has to be dealt at the level of the external affairs ministry and he had already raised the matter. He said Punjab, too, needed to create job avenues for them.
Speaking about the Congress’ prospects for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, the former Ludhiana MP said that the “countdown” of the NDA government had started.
“Their despair and frustration were revealed during the Prime Minister’s speech in the Parliament during the no-confidence motion,” he said. “The NDA may have won the confidence of the House, but it has actually lost the confidence of people across India.”
Tewari said after the elections next year, a “progressive and secular” government will be in power at the Centre.