Himanta Biswa Sarma, the chief minister of Assam, declared on Sunday that the BJP does not require the support of “Miya” people from “char” (riverine sandbar) areas for the next 10 years, at least not until they change and stop engaging in traditions like child marriage.
However, Sarma asserted that the “Miya” people support him, PM Narendra Modi, and the BJP and that they are free to continue shouting slogans in support of the saffron brigade even if they do not cast ballots for them.
“BJP will do public welfare and they will support us, but they don’t need to vote for us. There is no harm in supporting us. Let them shout ‘zindabad’ for Himanta Biswa Sarma, Narendra Modi and BJP,” he told reporters in response to a question.
Muslims who speak Bengali are referred to as “Miya” in slang.
The chief minister said, “When elections come, I myself will request them not to vote for us. When you will follow family planning, stop child marriage and shed fundamentalism, then you vote for us.”
“To complete these, it will take 10 years. We will seek votes after 10 years, not now.”
He said that people who support him and the BJP should refrain from having more than two or three children, send their girls to school, refrain from child marriage, and convert to Sufism after renunciating fundamentalism.
“When these conditions are fulfilled, I will go with you to ‘char’ to seek votes,” Sarma told the journalists.
When it was brought up that many ‘chars’, where Bengali-speaking Muslims are predominate, lack suitable schools, he said that as soon as he was told, schools would be immediately established in those locations.
Minority pupils cannot be denied the opportunity to pursue education. Seven institutions will operate in minority communities soon, according to Sarma.