New Delhi: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) minister in Assam and convenor of the BJP’s North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) Himanta Biswa Sarma made a controversial remark when he told an audience to choose between Hindu or Muslim migrants.

Sarma was replying to queries on the opposition to the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in Assam when he said, “The whole thing is that we have to decide who our enemy is. Who is our enemy, the 1-1.5 lakh people or the 55 lakh people? The Assamese community is at the crossroads. We could not (save) 11 districts. If we continue to remain this way, six more districts will go out (of our hands) in the 2021 Census. In 2031, more (districts) will go out.”

The BJP minister asked the people opposing the bill to evaluate which community threatened to reduce the Assamese to a minority.

The Citizenship Bill will grant Indian citizenship Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Sikhs and Parsis who are being persecuted in Pakistan and Bangladesh, both India’s neighbour.

When Sarma was asked about whether the BJP wanted to differentiate between Hindu and Muskim migrants flocking into the state, he replied, “Yes, we do. We clearly do. After all, the country was divided in the name of religion. Thus it is not a new thing.”

 

First Published | 2 November 2016 12:36 PM
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