On November 3, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma stated that he anticipates support from the indigenous Assamese Muslim community rather than from the Miya Muslims of East Bengal origin. He clarified that his government’s primary focus lies in the development and welfare of the indigenous Muslims residing in Assam. It is important to note that Miya Muslims are Bengali-speaking migrants who settled in Assam from present-day Bangladesh.
During a media interaction in Guwahati, CM Sarma mentioned, “I don’t anticipate receiving votes from Miya Muslims. I tend to avoid visits to medical colleges due to the higher presence of Miya Muslims there.”
Furthermore, CM Sarma expressed his concern about the higher representation of Miya Muslims compared to indigenous youth in medical colleges. He emphasised, “I seldom visit these colleges now, as it is disheartening to see Miya Muslims outnumbering our indigenous youth.”
The Assam Chief Minister went on to assert that the Congress and the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) have cultivated a “vote-based association” with the Miya Muslim community in Assam, often leveraging an atmosphere of apprehension to secure their support over the years.
He emphasised, “Both parties engage with Muslims of migrant origin only until they secure votes, neglecting any meaningful measures for their development or improvement of their living conditions.” Sarma reportedly added that there has been a glaring absence of essential infrastructure such as roads, bridges, schools, and colleges in the areas inhabited by this community.
“As a preliminary step, we have initiated efforts to enhance the living conditions of the indigenous Assamese Muslim population, and a comprehensive survey will soon be undertaken,” he continued.
However, CM Himanta Biswa Sarma clarified that, despite not anticipating electoral support from the Miya Muslim community, his government is committed to extending various government schemes to benefit all residents, including the Miya Muslim population.
He emphasised that under the BJP government, the Miya Muslim community experiences improved conditions, as the government actively engages in development initiatives for their welfare, irrespective of electoral considerations. The CM further pointed out that if the Congress or AIUDF takes similar measures, they tend to scrutinize the electoral gains they receive in specific areas.
These remarks were made by Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma in response to a question during a press conference addressing updates on significant infrastructure projects in the state, including the tunnel under the Brahmaputra, the elevated road in Kaziranga National Park, and the Guwahati ting road.
On the contrary, AIUDF chief Maulana Badruddin Ajmal and Dhubri MP responded to CM Sarma’s statements by highlighting the significant contributions of Miya Muslims to the workforce, particularly in Guwahati. Ajmal emphasised that if Miya Muslims were absent from work for even three days in the city, it would lead to a virtual standstill.
It’s worth noting that Badruddin Ajmal had recently sparked controversy with his comments about the Muslim community’s involvement in various crimes, asserting that they were disproportionately represented in offences like robbery, rape, murder, eve teasing, and incarceration. He also remarked that while others are making advancements in various fields, Muslims are focusing on areas related to imprisonment.