Over the past few days, BJP Government in the State has received tremendous amount of flak from all. The reason being the Centre’s decision to grant Indian citizenship to Hindu Bengalis from Bangladesh. However State Education and Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma now has come out in defence of the Central Government.
‘Decide Now Who to Go With’: Sarma
Himanta Biswa Sarma reiterated his support for the bill, asserting that India has to protect Hindus and a distinction had to be made between illegal migrants on the basis of religion because the country was divided on the basis of religion. ‘It is the Bharatiya Janata Party’s policy to differentiate between Hindu and Muslim migrants in Assam.’
He further stated the Assamese people are becoming a minority in their own State. But remains unclear whether it is from the linguistic aspect or religious aspect, or from a combination of both language and religion. He emphasises on making a conscious decision for the greater good of the Assamese society.
‘After all, the country was divided in the name of religion. Thus it is not a new thing. That is why we must now decide who to go with in order to save ourselves’, he told the media.
Sarma was referring to the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in Assam, which aims to help Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Sikh migrants from Pakistan and Bangladesh, and Afghanistan to get refuge in India and grant them citizenship.
BJP Not Honouring Poll Promises?
It is to be noted that earlier this year, the BJP had won the Assembly elections in the State primarily on the Hindutva ticket. The saffron party had promised to protect the Assamese people and its identity by clamping down on illegal migrants from Bangladesh.
However if the recent developments in the State are to be taken into account, it is in stark contrast to what the BJP has promised during polls. This has lead to widespread protests in the State. Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), a major stakeholder in the coalition government is also among those opposing it. However Sarma was quick to clarify that the saffron party’s viewpoint hasn’t changed and remains the same.
‘We want the Bengali-speaking Hindus to remain with the Assamese people. That is the BJP’s viewpoint. It has not changed. It has been the same, both before and after elections’, Sarma added.