Taking a dig at the Congress party for allowing illegal construction by a specific community so as to garner their votes, BJP MP Pravesh Verma on Wednesday said that over 500 government properties in Delhi, where hospitals and schools are proposed to be built, have been illegally taken over by constructing mosques and graveyards.
Participating in the debate on the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Amendment Bill, 2019, in the Lok Sabha, Verma said this is not only the problem of the national capital but also an issue for the entire country.
He said that the land parcels where these "illegal mosques and graveyards" have been constructed belong to the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), Delhi Jal Board and many other government departments.
"There are over 500 government lands where illegal mosques and graveyards are built. I object to such constructions on government land even if it is a mosque, temple or a gurdwara. But in the last five years I did not come to know about any such government land where an illegal temple or gurdwara is constructed," he said.
Last week, the BJP MP also met Delhi Lt. Governor Anil Baijal and handed him a list of 54 government properties in his parliamentary constituency where illegal mosques and graveyards have been constructed.
Raising the issue, the MP from West Delhi requested the formation of a committee to investigate the matter so that these illegal constructions could be demolished and schools, hospitals as well as other establishments for public welfare could be set up in these locations.
In an obvious attack on the Congress, the MP said: "A government which ruled for over 55 years did not pay attention to these illegal constructions for vote bank."
His remarks provoked an uproar in the House with opposition members launching a scathing attack on the Central government for targeting a specific community.
"This is not good that a particular community is being targeted," said Trinamool Congress MP Saugata Roy.
Without naming anyone, the BJP MP also alleged that while some opposition members and several government employees continue to unauthorisedly occupy government accommodation, many others are still waiting for over 10 years to be allotted government houses.
He lauded some BJP leaders, including former External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, for leaving their government residences within the specified time period.
"We (BJP) have set up an example," he said.