New Delhi, Sept 26: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Varun Gandhi has yet again taken a stance that differs from his party. Varun Gandhi has called for empathy for the Rohingya Muslims and defining India’s asylum policies. Gandhi has authored an article for national daily Navbharat Times, titled ‘Don’t discard Rohingyas like that’.
“My recent piece focused primarily on defining India’s asylum policy, with clear demarcations on how we would accept refugees. As for the Rohingyas, I’ve called for empathy, leading potentially to asylum, while vetting each applicant for national security concerns,” Gandhi said on Twitter on Tuesday.
Gandhi’s stand differs from his own party’s stand as the BJP government at the Centre earlier this month submitted an affidavit in the Supreme Court calling Rohingyas a threat to national security. Gandhi, in his article, has said that India must provide asylum for Rohingyas. Citing past incidents and the history of India providing asylum to lakhs of refugees, Gandhi has said Rohingyas shouldn’t be deported.
Gandhi has also penned down suggestions for framing a policy to ensure refugees are not a threat to the country. Gandhi said that India must work on a national refugee policy to differentiate between different types of refugees.
Union Minister Hansraj Ahir has criticised Gandhi for his views on Rohingyas. “Jo desh ke hith mein sochenga woh is tarah ke bayan nahi dega (Anyone who has national interest in mind, won’t make such statements),” he said as quoted by ANI.
The Centre had in its affidavit on Rohingyas said, “In light of what is stated hereinabove, as the subject matter of the petition is not justiciable, as the fundamental rights of Indian citizens would be adversely effected, as there is serious national security threat or concern and when a just and fair procedure prescribed by law exists for deportation.”
“Illegal influx of Rohingyas, in significant numbers, has started into the territory of India since 2012-13 and the Central Government has contemporaneous from security agencies inputs and other authentic material indicating linkages of some of the unauthorised Rohingya immigrants with Pakistan-based terror organisations and similar organisations operating in other countries,” the Centre’s affidavit said.
Past instances of Varun Gandhi speaking against BJP government
This is not the first time that Varun Gandhi has spoken against his own party. Earlier this year, Gandhi had said that in the past two years, over 50,000 debt-ridden farmers had committed suicide while nothing had been done about business tycoon Vijay Mallya who had fled with a Rs. 10,000 crore loan unpaid.
He had also alleged that his party had failed to address the development of minorities. Gandhi had also raised the issue of Rohith Vemula’s suicide and said that he was moved to tears after reading Vemula’s suicide note.