Ashok Gehlot government gives land to Pakistan migrants, sparks a row
JAIPUR: Barely a few weeks after taking out a Peace March in Jaipur against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), the Gehlot Government has allotted plots at half their market price (50% discount) to Pakistani migrants in the state capital. This special benefit has ignited a sharp discussion among political circles in Rajasthan.
According to the Jaipur Development Authority, about a hundred people displaced from Pakistan were issued allotment letters in the Khushar Extension Housing Scheme by Zonal Office-9. This is a part of its effort to fulfil the public welfare announcements of Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and the plan was executed in accordance with the instructions of the Minister of Urban Development, Shanti Dhariwal.
Allotment letters were issued by Jaipur Development Commissioner T. Ravikant at 50 per cent concessional rates to Pak displaced Ramesh, Zaveri Lal, Baidan, Harpal and Hiralal. After receiving the allotment letters, the happy Pakistani migrants thanked the state government and the JDC for offering them plots at discounted rates. Zonal Deputy Commissioner Abu Sufiyan said that the process for allotment of plots to the Pakistani migrants was pending since 2014 and it was decided to allot the land to the eligible migrants. He also said that after scrutinizing their eligibility, the allotments are being done under the Khushar Extension Scheme.
The opposition BJP has, however, accused the Gehlot government of double standards. The BJP says the Rajasthan government is standing against the CAA merely to oppose the Modi-led government at the Centre while they themselves are providing land to Pakistani refugees at cheap rates. State BJP President Satish Poonia targeted Gehlot and remarked: ‘‘This is another U-turn by the Gehlot Government. The Chief Minister should tell us whether he supports or opposes CAA. Their words and actions contradict each other.’’
In contrast, the ruling Congress says it is only fulfilling the genuine needs of Pakistani migrants who have already got Indian citizenship. They also point out that the opposition to the CAA- NRC will continue and they will not be implemented in Rajasthan. As Congress Spokesperson Archana Sharma remarked: ‘‘The identity of India is through its Constitution and we reject the CAA-NRC because those are opposed to our Constitution. Since we respect the Constitution, our government will not implement the divisive CAA-NRC in Rajasthan. But opposing CAA does not mean that we oppose Pakistani migrants who are in our state and have already got citizenship which they deserve.’’