Debating India


’Illegal Bangladeshis Are A Threat’

Monday 2 May 2005

The CM tries to defend some of his recent Sena-like decisions

JPEG - 12.5 kb
Atul Loke

Maharashtra CM Vilasrao Deshmukh puts up a brave face as he tries to defend some of his recent Sena-like decisions. Excerpts from an interview:

You seem to have a Sena-BJP complex...

No, I am very much a Congressman and Congress chief minister. If I talk in favour of Maharashtra, is it a crime? I am talking about real issues.

But isn’t it Thackeray-speak?

I don’t have to borrow my ideology or ideas from him or others. Many things were taken out of context. I’m concerned that Maharashtrians form only 27 per cent of the direct recruitment into the union civil services. That’s why I spoke of non-Maharashtrians.

Are ’outsiders’ unwelcome under the Congress too?

Anyone can come but no new slum can be created here. It’s Maharashtrian culture to welcome all guests but Mumbai has no room now. And, by guests I mean everyone-even those from my hometown Latur and other places in Maharashtra.

Why this interest in Bangladeshis?

It was one of the points I raised at a national conference on internal security but not the only one. You people latched on to that and blew it up. Illegal Bangladeshis are a security threat.

Any figures for illegal Bangladeshis?

I don’t have the numbers at this point. I merely raised the issue.

You receive praise from the Sena but face opposition from your own party. Are you losing track somewhere?

See, when work is done, there will be opposition to it. Some decisions I took were inconvenient to some people but I can’t please all at all times.

You mean slum demolitions? Sonia’s intervention made you backtrack.

It’s not like that. Some Congressmen had issues with it. But I have the backing to demolish illegal slums.

You didn’t seem to be in favour of the dance bar ban. Why champion it now?

I can’t express a personal opinion that’s different from the government’s. Some classes are unhappy about it but not the poor and middle classes.

How many Bangladeshi girls work in these bars?

We’ll have to find out but they are there.

SPIP | template | | Site Map | Follow-up of the site's activity RSS 2.0