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Non-BJP states voice reservation on Enemy Property Bill

States ruled by parties other than BJP voiced their reservations on various provisions of the contentious Enemy Property Amendment Bill at a meeting of the Rajya Sabha Select Committee on Tuesday.

BJP-ruled states, however, strongly favoured the Bill which seeks to guard against claims of succession or transfer of 'enemy' properties belonging to those who had migrated to Pakistan and China after the wars, sources said.

The meeting, called to seek views of Chief Secretaries/ representatives of state and Union Territory governments, saw Bihar, Kerala, Assam and some other states expressing reservations about various provisions of the Bill. According to the sources, the most vocal protest came from the Nitish Kumar-ruled Bihar, while representatives of Congress-ruled Kerala and Assam said it will be "very difficult" to implement the law.

Many states said it was "not a good law" as it makes "even an Indian citizen enemy" by not recognising his succession rights.

Of the 15-odd states whose representatives appeared before the panel, almost half of them raised concerns about the Bill, particularly its retrospective application which will make null and void any transaction of enemy property even if it was done before the new Bill comes into force.
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