The Enemy Property (Amendment and Validation) Bill is set to become the next bone of contention between the BJP and the Centre. With BJP seeing it as a Shah Bano-type act by the Centre under ‘Muslim pressure’, the Bill is likely to face rough weather in the House.
Senior BJP leaders L.K. Advani and Arun Jaitley are learnt to have raised objections to the amended Bill that is ready for introduction with Home Minister P. Chidambaram.
The background: evacuee properties vacated by Indian Muslims who migrated to Pakistan in 1947 became “enemy properties” during the 1965 Indo-Pak war, and have been under custodians.
The son of Raja of Mahmudabad went to the Supreme Court claiming his father’s properties in U.P. and won the case in 2005. This led to a flurry of such cases. The government brought an ordinance saying that even courts could not alter the properties’ status.
The BJP says that pressure from Muslim MPs has made the government do a U-turn and amend a Bill that was meant to replace the Ordinance.