New Delhi: Government's efforts to take BJP onboard on the controversial Enemy Property (Amendment and Validation) Bill did not bear fruit with the principal opposition making it clear it would support the legislation only if the Ordinance on the issue was made into an Act.
Home Minister P Chidambaram met Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha to discuss the enemy property legislation but the latter is understood to have made it plain that BJP would not support it in its present form.
Chidambaram then made some changes in the draft of the Bill which was shown to the BJP leaders and they welcomed it but the right-wing party is still opposed to other contents of the proposed legislation.
"Our stand is that the intention of the government has changed from what it was when the Ordinance was brought and what is stated in the present draft of the Bill," Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj said.
BJP's contention is that the government brought the Enemy Property (Amendment and Validation) Ordinance, 2010, to counter the Supreme Court judgement in favour of the erstwhile Raja of Mehmoodabad Suleiman Mian.
Its allegation is that the government, under pressure from some ministers and for minority appeasement, was making changes in the draft of the Bill.
"This is perhaps for the first time that a meeting of some Muslim MPs was held in Parliament today, and in which the Home Minister and the Parliamentary Affairs ministers took part. This is a clear attempt to communalise a legislation," a senior BJP MP alleged.
Interestingly, BJP leaders like Najma Heptullah and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi are supporting the government on this issue.
The kin of the former Raja had won the possession of his ancestral properties, worth hundreds of crores, after a 32-year court battle in October 2005.
Earlier this month, the Lucknow district administration formally took possession of six of his properties, as directed by the Custodian of Enemy Properties under the Union Home Ministry. PTI