PM should sack Home Minister Patil: BJP

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New Delhi, May 23 (UNI) Charging Home Minister Shivraj Patil with 'lying' on the issue of detention centres for illegal Bangladeshi immigrants and equating the Sarabjit case with that of Afzal Guru, the BJP today demanded an apology from Home Minister Shivraj Patil, failing which Prime Minister Manmohan Singh must sack him from the Council of Minister.

Besides, the party also sought an explanation from the Prime Minister on both the counts.

The party said the Home Minister had made a 'false' statement that the Central Government had not issued any direction regarding detention centres for illegal Bangladeshi immigrants.

The BJP said the minutes of the Nodal Authority of the Home Ministry which discussed the issue of deportation of Bangladeshi migrants on January 24, 2007, had clearly stated that "state government should set up detention centres for detention of illegally staying foreigners pending their deportation".

Subsequently, the March 12, 2007 circulation of the Home Minister had clearly underlined the procedure to be adopted for deportation of the Bangladeshi migrants.

Yet again in its meeting of April 25, 2007, minutes of which were sent on May 8, 2007, the Ministry had asked the State Governments for setting up detention centres with its own funds in a time-bound manner.

The party said the Home Minister tried to mislead the nation on the sensitive issue of security intiative for "political purposes" and instead of acknowledging these facts, he had alleged Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje of politicising the issue.

Talking to newspersons, party spokesman Prakash Javadekar said the party also condemned the "irresponsible" statement of Mr Patil comparing the case of Sarabjit with that of Afzal Guru. "Nobody in the country and outside raised any demand for clemency for Afzal on any ground," he said.

"What is worse is inherent in his utterances, lies an assumption that Pakistan is the spokesman of even Indian Muslims," Mr Javadekar added.

UNI KAS/MCN MIR KP1734

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