GUWAHATI, Sept 10: Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Sunday claimed that the BJP government is working more for the welfare of the Muslims than any Congress government had done previously.
He claimed that the Congress viewed the Muslims only as vote bank but the saffron party is working to free them, especially the women, from exploitation.
“Some people say that we are anti-Muslim. But I think that by stopping polygamy, (triple) talaq, child marriage – we are working more for the Muslims than any Congress government ever did,” Sarma said, speaking at the concluding day of a two-day national executive meet of BJP’s Mahila Morcha.
He said the Assam government will bring a law to prohibit polygamy by December, while another round of intensified crackdown on child marriage will be launched within a few days.
More than 5,000 offenders were arrested in the first round of operation against child marriage in February this year and it was kept on hold till the completion of the G20 summit, he added.
Sarma maintained that many Islamic countries have ended “bad practices” but when “our country takes any such step, (Congress leaders) Rahul and Sonia Gandhi call it a step against the minority”.
He asserted all these measures are to stop the exploitation of women, especially of a ‘category’, who are married off at nine years, become mothers by 12 years and then are forced to accept their husbands marrying more than once.
Referring to Tamil Nadu minister Udhayanidhi Stalin’s recent comments on Sanatan Dharma, Sarma maintained that Hinduism does not endorse casteism and the last symbols of casteism are also being done away with.
He questioned Stalin for not calling for wiping out “another religion” which discriminates against women, allowing the men to marry multiple times.
“I told him: don’t speak about wiping off Hinduism, Islam, Christianity… but end casteism in Hinduism and polygamy, (triple) talaq in Islam,” Sarma added.
The BJP leader said the Narendra Modi-led government is focused on ‘women-led development’ and women are given top leadership positions across the government on the basis of their efficiency.
“We believe that the ‘nari shakti’ (women’s power) is with the BJP…I exhort our Mahila Morcha workers to further ensure that the women reap benefits of all schemes meant for them,” Sarma added. (PTI)