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WPRs denied entry into job rally
Another BJP U-turn
5/16/2015 12:37:34 AM
Early Times Report
Jammu, May 15: Just a few days ago, West Pakistan refugees' leader, Labha Ram Gandhi, and a few of colleagues met with BJP national president Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi and discussed with them the problems the people, they claimed, had been facing since 1947-1948. Earlier, he had met with Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh for the same purpose. After his meetings with the BJP president and the Prime Minister, jubilant Gandhi disclosed that the meetings were fruitful, that both Amit Shah and Narendra Modi had assured them that their grievances would be redressed, that they would be granted citizenship rights within six months, that a special recruitment drive would be launched so that they could be inducted into the army and central paramilitary forces, that the Prime Minister directed certain officials to do the needful and that he was confident that things would turn positive for the refugees from West Pakistan sooner than later. Three MPs, Jugal Kishore Sharma, who is also president of the J&K unit of the BJP, Avinash Rai Khanna, Prabhari J&K, and Shamsher Singh Manhas, were present when Gandhi and his colleagues met with the Prime Minister in New delhi on May 7.
It now appears that the BJP top brass had simply fooled the West Pakistan refugees' leader. That they didn't mean what they told Gandhi and others has become manifestly clear. The youth belonging to the social group of refugees were barred from participating in the recruitment rally of defence forces because they didn't have domicile certificates or Permanent resident Certificates. The big NO to them disappointed those from this social group who had gone there hoping that they would be recruited.
Reacting to this inhuman exclusion or the BJP U-turn, Gandhi reportedly said: "Today, when our youth went to participate in the recruitment rally organised by the Defence forces, they were debarred because the authorities concerned demanded PRCs or domicile certificate from them". "It appears that despite assurance by the Prime Minister and the Union Home Minister, nothing has been improved for us," Gandhi was quoted as saying. He expressed surprise, saying that PM Modi had on May 7 given "on-the-spot directions to ensure participation for the refugee youth in the recruitment rallies". "We have lost all hopes because we are fed up with repeated meetings and assurances…Debarring our youth to participate in the recruitment process is nothing, but betrayal," he lamented.
It is important to note that even Home Minister Rajnath Singh had held out an assurance that West Pakistan refugees, who were eligible, would be recruited. So much so, he had asked the Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar to do the needful so that one of the demands of the West Pakistan Refugees could be met. He had also directed heads of the Central Armed Paramilitary Forces (CAPF) to "consider those WPRs for recruitment in forces, who have valid voter ID cards with them". The WPRs are Indians and they participate in the Lok Sabha elections. They should have been considered, but it was not to be. It's only natural that Gandhi and other refugee leaders are cursing the BJP, which got their votes in the general elections. It bears recalling that Labha Ram Gandhi had withdrawn from the contest in favour of the BJP candidate on the assurance that the issues concerning the WPRs will be addressed on a priority basis.
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