Assam education minister Himanta Biswa Sarma asked the people of the state to choose their enemy; 1-1.5 lakh people or the 55 lakh people, while responding to the questions related to opposition parties’ protest against the new Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016.
“We clearly do. After all, the country was divided in the name of religion. Thus it is not a new thing,” Sarma, the convenor of the BJP’s North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA), told Indian Express.
“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,” he added.
According to the census of 2011, 11 districts in Assam have the majority of Muslims while in 2001 it was only in six districts.
“When we go to Dibrugarh or Tinsukia (districts) we feel very good because we are in a majority there. But do you feel good when you go to Dhubri or Barpeta (Muslim majority districts)?” NEDA convenor said.
The New Citizenship Amendment Bill is expected to be presented in Parliament’s Winter Session for approval. The Bill aims to help Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Sikh migrants from Pakistan and Bangladesh to get refuge in India and grant them citizenship.