Assam Governor P B Acharya was caught in another controversy on Sunday as he said that Indian Muslims are free to go anywhere, including Pakistan and Bangladesh
His remark came a day after he was reported to have said that “Hindustan is for Hindus”. As his reported statement — quoted by a section of the local media — came under fire, Acharya held a press conference on Sunday, where he claimed that he had been misquoted.
However, he stirred a fresh row, with his response to a question on Indian Muslims who face persecution. “They (Indian Muslims) are free to go anywhere. They can stay here (in India). If they want to go to Bangladesh or Pakistan, they are free to go. Many of them have gone to Pakistan. But if they are persecuted there… Taslima Nasreen was persecuted there, she came here. If they come, we will give them shelter,” said Acharya.
“I did not just say Hindustan is only for Hindus. I also said Hindus from different countries can come and stay here,” he said. “I said any Hindu persecuted in any other country will have to come to India only, because it is his motherland. If he is in trouble in any other country, he will have to come to India only. They cannot be outsiders, they are refugees, and it is our duty to provide shelter to them,” said Acharya.
The Congress accused Acharya of converting the Raj Bhavan into “a den of the RSS”, and sought his immediate removal. “This Governor has been entangled in one controversy after another since the day he assumed office. No other Governor in India has landed in so many controversies. A few months ago, he spoke against the Congress at a public meeting in Silchar. He also appointed several RSS members in the Dibrugarh University Court, depriving efficient people and scholars. He has converted the Raj Bhavan into a den of the RSS in the past few months. He should be removed immediately,” said APCC vice-president Ripun Bora.
“If he has made such a remark, it is very unfortunate,” said AGP leader and former chief minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta.
“He has made a communal remark which can be a threat to India’s sovereignty. The President should dismiss him,” said Akhil Gogoi, president of the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS).
Earlier, Acharya had also termed the Assam Accord as “outdated” and called for a revision of its clauses. “It was strange that the Governor dismissed the Assam Accord, signed by the Government of India, government of Assam and AASU as outdated and obsolete,” said AASU general secretary Lurin Jyoti Gogoi.