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Saturday, June 19, 2021

In Nagpur, Sarma scotches talk of not being favoured by RSS

Sarma was closeted with Bhagwat at the RSS headquarters in city's Mahal area for about 75 minutes. He, however, refused to divulge details of the meeting

Written by Vivek Deshpande | Nagpur |
Updated: June 12, 2021 10:14:11 am
Himanta Biswa Sarma, RSS chief Mohan BhagwatHimanta Biswa Sarma paying homage to RSS founding Sarsanghchalak Parampujyaniya Dr KB Hedgewar at his Smriti Mandir | Photo tweeted by Himanta Biswa Sarma

Dismissing the pre-poll speculation about RSS being opposed to his selection as Assam Chief Minister, Himanta Biswa Sarma, on Friday said that his association with the RSS in general and the organisation chief Mohan Bhagwat in particular, dates back many years. He also revealed that Bhagwat had visited his house before election.

“My association with Bhagwat is very old. It was there even when I was in the Congress. My brother is also associated with ABVP. Before recent elections, he visited my house and had food. He also met my mother and gifted books to my children,” Sarma told a select group of journalists here after meeting Sarsanghchalak Mohan Bhagwat earlier the day.

Sarma was closeted with Bhagwat at the RSS headquarters in city’s Mahal area for about 75 minutes. He, however, refused to divulge details of the meeting.

“I come here often. I had come four years ago during the valedictory function of the Tritiya Sangha Shiksha Varga,” Sarma added.

Just a day before, Sarma had “appealed” to the immigrant Muslims of Assam to do family planning to be able to fight poverty and other problems caused due to oversized families.

However, he dismissed any connection between his statement and the visit to RSS headquarters.

When pointed out about the RSS’ long-standing position on “rising Muslim population” as a “demographic threat”, Sarma said, “As CM, I should not be speaking on those terms. My purpose is to ameliorate their poverty, for which big family sizes are the main reason. They have, on an average, 4-6 children and the family size often swells to 20. This also disables the government programmes to help them overcome the various problems caused by economic hardships. That’s the only idea behind the call for family planning”.

Distinguishing between “original” Assamese Muslims and “immigrant Muslims that have come from Bangladesh,” Sarma said, “The original Assamese Muslims have a limited family size and hence lead a decent life. But the immigrant Muslims that have come from Bangladesh lead their life in misery. That’s why family planning could be the game changer for them”.

He also added that the original Assamese Muslims want a census of immigrant Muslims done.

“Overall, Assam has about 1 crore Muslim population of which 12-13 lakh are original Assamese Muslims. So there is demand for census of immigrant Muslim population,” he said.

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Furthermore, Sarma refused to talk on future of CAA and NRC.

“You may not be familiar with the context and background. I talk about it with those who have been following it regularly. And I have only recently talked about it,” he said.

Sarma, who had arrived here from Delhi this morning, will return to Delhi on morning flight on Saturday.

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