BJP, RJD clash in LS on census issue

Discussion on caste-based census in the Lok Sabha got derailed today with BJP raising the issue of Bangladeshi infiltrators, clashing with RJD chief Lalu Prasad who wanted the issue of backwards to take precedence.

Updated: May 05, 2010, 18:46 PM IST

New Delhi: Discussion on caste-based census in
the Lok Sabha got derailed today with BJP raising the issue of
Bangladeshi infiltrators, clashing with RJD chief Lalu Prasad
who wanted the issue of backwards to take precedence.

Initiating the debate on Census 2011, Ananth Kumar (BJP)
raised the issue illegal migrants from Bangladesh getting
registered as Indian citizens. He said the matter was related
to "internal disturbance and external aggression".

At this, RJD chief Lalu Prasad charged Kumar with
propagating BJP`s agenda by "repeatedly talking of Pakistan
and Bangladesh and ignoring the issue of backwards in the
census exercise."

An agitated Kumar then said he would raise the issue
suggested by Prasad but would first take up the issue related
to national security.

When Prasad repeatedly objected to the BJP leader
referring to the problem of illegal migrants only in his
speech, Kumar asked the RJD chief to clarify "whether you are
with India or with Pakistan and Bangladesh."

He made certain remarks against the RJD leader, to which
Prasad retorted that Kumar was levelling "wild allegations".
He was joined by members of Samajwadi Party and Trinamool
Congress who sought an apology.

Amid the din, Deputy Speaker Karia Munda adjourned the
House till 3.30 pm.

During his speech, Kumar said the National Population
Register exercise was being conducted along with Census, which
could create confusion.

He said personnel conducting the census exercise have been
asked not to cross-question people on their nationality. "The
column says nationality as declared. It should be nationality
as determined," he said.

He claimed that while in other countries illegal crossing
of border results in jail term, in India such people are given
citizenship and other facilities.

"One day that person can get elected to Lok Sabha and
sit next to you as a Minister in the UPA," Kumar said pointing
at Chidambaram.

"Do you mean there was no illegal migration and no ration
cards given to such people between 1998 and 2004 (when NDA was
in power)?" he questioned.

After the House was adjourned, Home Minister P Chidambaram
was seen talking to Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj and
Kumar. He later went to Prasad and Mulayam Singh Yadav and was
seen explaining something to them.

PTI