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Wednesday, May 25, 2016, Jaistha 11, 1423 BS, Shaban 17, 1437 Hijri

No Muslim in BJP Cabinet in India’s Assam state
Observer Online Desk
Published :Wednesday, 25 May, 2016,  Time : 1:49 PM  View Count : 86
Muslims are one-third of Assam's population, but there is not one of them in the new BJP council of ministers that was sworn in on Tuesday in the state's capital Guwahati.

Apart from Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, 10 Ministers (including two ministers of state with independent charge) were sworn in.

Two members each from BJP’s allies, the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and Bodoland Peoples’ Front (BPF) were among the ministers who took oath.

The legislators who were sworn in as ministers include Himanta Biswa Sarma (BJP), Atul Bora (AGP), Pramila Rani Brahma (BPF), Parimal Suklabaidya (BJP), Chandra Mohan Patowary (BJP), Keshab Mahanta (AGP), Ranjit Dutta (BJP), Rihon Daimary (BPF).

Those administered oath of office and secrecy as the ministers of state (independent charge) were Naba Kumar Doley and Pallav Lochan Das.

Muslims in Assam, mostly of East Bengali origin, support either the Congress or the AIUDF led by Maulana Badruddin Ajmal. They constitute 35 percent of the state's population — the highest after Kashmir.

The outgoing Congress council of ministers headed by Tarun Gogoi had six Muslim ministers.

Assam's new Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has said his government will work relentlessly to identify and expel all 'foreigners' (read illegal Bangladeshi migrants) from Assam.

He has also identified as his priority the creation of a fresh National Register of Citizens (NRC) free of 'illegal migrants'.

During Tarun Gogoi's long 15 years in power, the government tried to carry out pilot projects for enumeration of the NRC.

But they had to be shelved due to violence in Muslim-dominated areas where locals saw the exercise as an attempt to victimise bonafide Indian Muslims.


Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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