Prakash Karat, member of the Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has issued the following statement:
The Samajwadi Party leader, Shri Amar Singh, has criticised the CPI(M) for opposing the religious places bill in Uttar Pradesh while having a similar Act in West Bengal. He has sought to equate the West Bengal legislation with that of the bill passed by the BJP-led government in the UP assembly.
Shri Amar Singh has deliberately sought to equate the West Bengal legislation on religious places with the bill that the BJP-led government got adopted in the U.P. Assembly. In doing so, Shri Amar Singh has echoed the charge levelled by the BJP leadership in this regard.
In West Bengal, the religious places act was passed in 1985 to prevent unauthorised construction of religious places which is used as a guise for grabbing land and other commercial purposes. Since the act was adopted, for fifteen years, there has been no complaint whatsoever about it being used to target any religious community. The record of the Left Front government regarding secularism and defence of minority rights is known to all. On the contrary, in Uttar Pradesh the BJP-led government declared in the assembly that in view of the misuse of the religious places of the minorities by the ISI, it had become necessary to legislate such a measure. The apprehensions of the minority community about the bill are genuine given the open bias of the BJP-led administration.
Though Shri Amar Singh knows the difference between the UP and West Bengal situations, he has mischievously sought to draw a parallel between the two. We do not know whether his views represent that of the Samajwadi Party but his stand is only helping to cover up the actual motives of the BJP-led government in Uttar Pradesh.