Bharatiya Janata Party President Amit Shah on Saturday said that only Indian citizens have the right to the country’s resources and that it is not a “dharamshala” (charitable shelter home) for illegal immigrants to come and settle down, the Dainik Jagran reported. Shah was speaking at an event organised by the media group in New Delhi.

The National Register of Citizens is a way to solve the basic problems of the country and should not be solely connected to the BJP, said Shah. “How is it possible that anyone can come and settle down here? The country cannot run like this,” said Shah. “Those who are its citizens should stay here only and they only have the right to the resources of this country.”

The exercise to form the NRC in Assam was launched in 2015, with 3.29 crore people applying to get their names on it. It has been embroiled in several controversies, including allegations of bias against certain communities. The final draft of the NRC, published on July 30, had left out nearly 40 lakh people, including some MLAs and a former chief minister. A few other states have also demanded a similar exercise.

Shah described intruders as a threat to the country and said that they have been used as a vote bank for 70 years. His party believes in taking tough decisions in the nation’s interest, Shah said. He added that the BJP would follow a policy of “detect, delete and deport” and the NRC is the first step in that direction.

“They [intruders] should be identified. Delete their names from the electoral roll,” he said. “The BJP clearly believes that they should be identified and deported.”