Shillong, Feb 14: As North East rejoiced for the failure of BJP-led NDA to pass the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, not everyone joined in on the celebrations and share the same sentiment. Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma described the lapsing of the Bill as a “defeat for Assam”.
“It is a defeat for Assam. My party and I extended full support to the Bill. We do not have majority in the Rajya Sabha, so the Bill could not be passed. Bangladeshi Muslims will occupy 17 constituencies of Lower and Central Assam now. The people of Assam will lose their culture and language,” said Sarma.
The contentious Bill is set to lapse on June 3 when the term of the present 16th Lok Sabha ends. Wednesday’s session was the last parliament session before the general elections.
In an interview to Hindi news channel Aaj Tak, Sarma said today both Assamese as well as Hindu identity is in danger.
“If the Hindus are with us, our identity gets stronger – as a Hindu and as a Assamese. The Muslims on the other hand, not all but those coming from Bangladesh, they are trying to capture Assam politically, they want to control Assam. Hindu-Bengali don’t have their ideology, but Bengali-Muslim has this ideology, they want to control our social system. They even want to destroy the culture of our indigenous Muslims,” he said.
He noted that Muslims were already given Pakistan and Bangladesh during the time of partition where they are not persecuted on religious lines as they are in majority whereas Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, Christians are in danger of being persecuted there.
He stressed that Muslims are economic minorities but Hindus are religiously persecuted.
On West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee opposing the citizenship amendment Bill (CAB), he questioned if Hindus not allowed in ‘Hindustan’, then where will they go?
“Such extremism sentiments are being grown against the Hindus in Assam and Bengal, this is not good,” he said gravely.
“Where will the hindu go? They cannot go to Pakistan, they will be persecuted there. Should they convert to Islam to live there?” he asked didi on her stand.
On protests in North East states against the CAB, he said the issues will be sorted out. He said he respects each government’s stand and will reach out to them to sort out the issues.