The Sunday Observer
New Delhi, 9-15 April 1995
6. Khurana’s go-slow on migrants
issue irks hawks
Shubhendu Parth

NEW DELHI, APRIL, 8 - Delhi Chief Minister Madan Lal Khurana has decided to go slow on the issue of deporting illegal Bangladeshi migrants from the National Capital Territory [NCT] region, belying expectations that his government would take a cue from its counterpart in Maharashtra, where his Bharatiya Janata Party is ruling in alliance with the Shiv Sena.

According to sources in the BJP’s Delhi unit, the move has been dictated by the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections in 1996. Bangladeshi nationals, estimated to number three lakh, form a major part of the electorate in some parts of East Delhi, having been settled there with the sole motive of creating a vote bank. A Delhi administration official who had supervised electoral enrolment in one of the NCT constituencies said on condition of anonymity that even a few BJP leaders were involved in this racket.

The go-slow instruction has also been prompted by a recent Supreme Court directive asking the state administration to independently hear each and every individual suspected of being a foreign national.

However, the decision has enraged that section of the BJP leadership which is closely linked to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad. B.L. Sharma ‘Prem’, member of Parliament from East Delhi, reacted strongly by saying Khurana had no power to take such a decision. “The decision has to be taken by the central leadership,” he thundered.

The MP, one of the BJP’s most vocal politicians, has for long been demanding the deportation of Bangladeshi Muslims from the capital. “The problem should be solved once and for all,” he said, “even if force has to be applied.”

Unfortunately for ‘Prem’, the party’s central leadership too is uncertain what to do. In fact, its ‘soft’ stand on Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray’s call for the eviction of illegal Bangladeshi migrants has created much confusion in the BJP ranks. ‘Prem’ himself acknowledged as much, and said that as a committed party worker he would abide by the collective decision.

The BJP sources said that though the deportation of illegal migrants was one of the party’s main electoral slogans in November 1993, it has been unable to do much after forming the government in Delhi because the NCT does not have an independent home department and the issue is being handled by the Union home ministry.*


* We have misplaced and not been able to find in our collection in a significant report according to which, soon after becoming the Chief Minister of Delhi State, Madan Lal Khurana recommended in so many words that the Muslim infiltrators should be equipped with Green Cards for staying and working in India, and helped to become Indian citizens in due course.  It was left to some Congress leaders to protest that Green Cards were never and nowhere given to illegal immigrants, and that no country in the world can afford to give Green Cards when the number of immigrants runs into millions. Khurana’s saying and doings over a number of years leave the impression that he is more of a calculating machine than a man with a moral sense, political or otherwise. His clowning for keeping himself visible, never stops. There is no political sin under the sky which he is unwilling to commit in order to gain a temporary advantage. The alliance he has sought and succeeded in patching up are fatal for Hindu society.

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