GUWAHATI: In an atmosphere of politically-induced polarisation in poll-bound Assam, state’s senior minister Himanta Biswa Sarma today further classified the minority Muslim community into two classes.
Interacting with the media here this morning Sarma said: “Assam’s Muslim population has two streams, one who have migrated from Bangladesh and the other the indigenous ones. There are differences in between the two classes itself. We don’t have any issue with the indigenous class. We have never said anything against the indigenous Muslim population of Assam.
“But, those who have migrated from Bangladesh and call themselves Miyan, are very communal and fundamental. They have an agenda detrimental to Assam’s ethos. The word Miyan is used in Assam with a purpose to challenge our identity. They have also been detrimental to the demography of Assam.”
He also clarified that Miyan in other parts of the country is a dignified term, “but in the context of Assam, it is used to refer to the immigrants from Bangladesh”.
Stating that the BJP does not need votes of the Miyans to win elections, the North East Democratic Alliance convenor said: “We don’t need Miyan votes. I also pray to them with folder hands not to vote for us (BJP) even by mistake.”
Sarma has been critical of the Bengali speaking Muslims in the state ever since he started electioneering in the state. He often refers to Congress MLA Sherman Ali’s advocacy for a Miyan museum on the lines of Srimanta Sankardeva Kalakshetra and also for Miyan poetry.
Sarma today said the BJP will field Muslim candidates in the ensuing elections. “But, we will give tickets to only indigenous Muslims of Assam. We will not field any Miyan candidate,” he said.