The Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) took digs at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government over a mix-up between Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri and the Home Ministry over the accommodation of Rohingya refugees in Delhi.
Reacting to the faux pas, Congress leader Supriya Shrinate said that Puri had been "trolled" by Home Minister Amit Shah.
The urban affairs minister had said on Wednesday, 17 August, that Rohingya refugees would be moved to apartments for the economically weaker sections (EWS) in Bakkarwala in outer Delhi. Shortly after his statement, the Home Ministry contradicted Puri, saying that no such provisions were being made.
"With respect to news reports in certain sections of media regarding Rohingya illegal foreigners, it is clarified that Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has not given any directions to provide EWS flats to Rohingya illegal migrants at Bakkarwala in New Delhi," the ministry said in complete contrast to Puri's statement.
'Poor Mr Puri...': Congress' Dig at BJP
Taking to Twitter, Shrinate said, "Puri ji's words turned out to be completely wrong. We are not saying this, the home minister himself is saying it. Poor Mr @HardeepSPuri you have been trolled by your own Home Minister @AmitShah."
The AAP also attacked the BJP, saying that the settlement of Rohingyas in EWS flats would be a "big threat" to Delhiites and to the country's national security.
'Conspiracy To Settle Rohingyas': Manish Sisodia
"With the minister's announcement, the BJP government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi stands exposed today. This poses a big threat to the national security and to the Delhiites as well," AAP spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj said at a press conference.
He also said that the Delhi government would not let Rohingyas settle down in EWS flats at any cost.
Meanwhile, addressing a press conference, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia accused the Centre of “conspiring to illegally settle” the refugees in the national capital.
“As per the directions of the Centre, decisions were made by bureaucrats and the police and approved by the Lieutenant-Governor. The Chief Minister was not kept in the loop. The Delhi government will not let this conspiracy to illegally settle Rohingya refugees in the city succeed,” he added.
Following Union government's statement disputing the settlements, Sisodia termed its rebuttal as a "U-turn."
He went on to allege, "The way the Congress used to convert Bangladeshi settlers into their vote bank, the Modi government is also doing the same thing by settling Rohingyas in Delhi."
'Instead of Housing Rohingyas, Make Arrangements To Send Them Back': VHP
Further, the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) said on Wednesday that the Rohingyas are "infiltrators" and need to be sent back.
"Rohingyas are not refugees but infiltrators. This has been the consistent stand of the Union of India including in its affidavit filed in the Supreme Court," VHP president Alok Kumar said.
In a statement released on Wednesday, he also said that Home Minister Amit Shah, in 2020, had said that Rohingyas will never be accepted in India.
"The fact that the Hindu Refugees from Pakistan continue to live in abysmal sub-human conditions in the Majnu ka Tila area of Delhi makes the bounty proposed to be conferred on the Rohingyas more deplorable," he added.
"VHP urges the Government of India to reconsider this issue and instead of providing the Rohingyas with housing, make arrangements to send them back and out of India," the statement read.