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Those Opposing Citizenship Bill Want To Attack Assam's Culture: Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma

Those Opposing Citizenship Bill Want To Attack Assam
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Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Sunday said those opposing the Citizenship Bill want to attack the culture and civilisation of Assam

LAKHIMPUR, ASSAM: Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Sunday said those opposing the Citizenship Bill want to "attack" the culture and civilisation of Assam.

Addressing a rally of Bhartiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) in the presence of BJP president Amit Shah in Assam's Lakhimpur, Mr Sarma claimed that his party will win 10-11 Lok Sabha seats out of the 14 in Assam in the upcoming elections.

"Lots of misinformation is being spread about the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, ST status to six tribes and Clause-6 of the Assam Accord," he said.

"They (those opposing the bill) want to mislead the Assamese community. They want to attack the culture and civilisation of Assam. We want to tell all that we will protect the Indian culture and civilisation. It is our resolution," he added.

The contentious Citizenship Bill is set to lapse on June 3, when the term of the present Lok Sabha ends. It could not be passed in the Rajya Sabha during the Budget session, the last parliament session of the present government, which ended on Wednesday.

The senior BJP leader said it is a clash between the ones protecting ''jati-mati-bheti'' (community, land, homeland) and the those attacking the civilisation.

"The BJP is the saviour of this civilisation. ''Fir ek baar Modi sarkar'' -- it is not only a slogan, but a resolution to save our lives. The BJP will win 10-11 seats in Assam," Mr Sarma said.

Referring to the terror attack in south Kashmir's Pulwama district, Mr Sarma said, "We had stated earlier that we do not want (Assam to become) the second Kashmir. Then some people had criticised us. Now, all have seen the situation in Kashmir. If we do not become careful, Assam will be the second Kashmir. We have to be careful about this always."

The finance minister had stoked a controversy on January 6 after he said Assam will surrender to the "philosophy of Jinnah" and 17 Assembly seats "that elect Assamese people will go the Jinnah way" if the Citizenship Bill is not passed.

A day later, Mr Sarma, while speaking to PTI, said Hindus in the state will become a minority within five years if the bill is not passed, and "that will be advantageous to those elements who want Assam to be another Kashmir".

Mr Sarma claimed that the atmosphere in Assam was not good and that "we have become minority in 14 districts".

"If we do not want a second Kashmir, if we do not want to lose everything in Assam, like we lost in the 14 districts, then we have to strengthen the hands of Narendra Modi and Amit Shah," he said.

Mr Sarma also alleged that a section of people conspired against the decision to confer the Bharat Ratna on music legend Bhupen Hazarika.

"They are the enemies of India and Assam. They also criticised Bhupen Hazarika when he got the Dadasaheb Phalke Award and became the president of Asam Sahitya Sabha," he said.

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