Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on November 11 launched a scathing attack on the Congress party accusing it of resorting to religious polarization akin to the strategies employed by Mohammed Ali Jinnah's Muslim League during India's pre-independence era. Sarma expressed disbelief at the tactics employed and lashed out at the Congress for what he deemed a desperate attempt to secure votes from a specific religious community.
Taking to a microblogging site, Sarma outlined what he termed as "Congress' Anti-Hindu Credentials." The Chief Minister pointedly accused the Congress of adopting divisive strategies, particularly questioning the party's Minority Manifesto in Telangana. The manifesto, according to Sarma, raises serious questions about the Congress's commitment to a secular India.
In a series of tweets, Sarma drew historical parallels, invoking Mahatma Gandhi's fight against the separate electorate system endorsed by Jinnah. He condemned those who bear the Gandhi surname for allegedly reviving policies reminiscent of Jinnah, referring to it as an insult to the freedom fighters who fought for India's independence.
Sarma called upon all Indians to question the Congress party's slogans and intentions, asking whether "Jitni Abadi Utna Haq" was a smokescreen to bring back illegal reservations for Muslims. He also raised concerns about taxpayers' money being used to pay salaries for religious leaders and fund what he labeled as divisive schemes.
The political controversy deepened with the revelation of the Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee's Minority Declaration. The declaration, as posted by Sarma, outlined comprehensive financial upliftment, education, and employment equity initiatives for minorities in Telangana. Sarma criticized these proposals, labeling them divisive and questioning their alignment with the principles of a secular nation.
He posed a series of pointed questions to the Congress party, challenging the legitimacy of their promises. Among the questions raised, Sarma queried whether the Minority Manifesto aimed at bringing back reservation for Muslims, a practice already declared illegal by the judiciary. He questioned the need for a separate minority budget and loans worth Rs 5,000 crore, contrasting it with the BJP's focus on "Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas."
Moreover, Sarma expressed concern over the allocation of a monthly honorarium of Rs 10,000-12,000 to religious leaders, raising the issue of fairness in a nation that espouses secular values. He accused the Congress of selectively addressing the needs of minority communities while neglecting Hindu cremation sites and favoring the allocation of land for minority burial sites.
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