Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Thursday said Hindus do not normally contribute to riots and the community does not believe in “jihad". When asked about incidents of communal violence in India, the BJP leader said Hindus are “peace-loving". In an interview, he also talked about his stance on ‘love jihad’, the Shraddha Walkar murder case, and his “Saddam Hussain" remarks against Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.
During an interview with NDTV, Sarma reiterated BJP’s earlier made stances like Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s remarks on teaching “a lesson" to rioters in 2002 and his own call for Uniform Civil Code.
“Hindus are peace-loving. They do not indulge in rioting. Hindus as a community do not even believe in jihad. The Hindu community will never indulge in rioting," he told NDTV. The comments came not so long after Shah had said that anti-social elements stopped indulging in violence after they were “taught a lesson" in 2002.
Shah’s comments came during a rally in Gujarat last week. He had also said that the BJP established “permanent peace" in the state.
Sarma’s ‘Saddam’ remark against Rahul Gandhi
On November 23, Sarma claimed Rahul Gandhi looks like “Saddam Hussein", the former Iraqi dictator, and it would have been better had he turned his appearance like Sardar Patel, Jawaharlal Nehru or Mahatma Gandhi.
During NDTV interview, Sarma was quoted as saying, “Rahul looks beautiful and is a glamourous person. But, as of now, you compare photos (of Saddam Hussein and him), and see for yourself."
The Assam chief minister, who has campaigned in the Gujarat assembly polls, defended his remarks comparing Rahul Gandhi’s looks with that of Saddam Hussein. He said the Congress leader was batting in the pavilion with his gloves and pads on when the pitch was elsewhere.
When asked about the Congress suggesting his remark sounded like a troll, Sarma said he doesn’t mean what the word “troll" means. Upon knowing that it only means being abusive, Sarma was quoted as saying, “I have only given advice that if Rahul Gandhi cuts his beard and all, he will look like [former PM Jawaharlal] Nehru."
‘I wasted 22 years in Congress’
Talking about his switch to BJP from the grand old party, Sarma said he didn’t leave Congress because of a shift on ideology. “In the Congress, we used to worship a family. In BJP, we worship the country," he said. Sarma also said he wasted 22 years of his life in Congress.
Sarma made the switch in 2015, back when he was a prominent minister in Assam. Ever since, he has held important positions in the BJP, including being the chief minister of Assam under BJP rule.
He said parties on the left will always find BJP’s remarks as “communal", but he only said them in the national spirit.
‘love jihad’ remark on Shraddha Walkar’s murder
Meanwhile, he recently claimed that the Mehrauli killing has an “element of love jihad" and said besides roads and electricity, security of daughters is a poll issue.
Responding to a question on him raising the Shraddha Walkar murder case during the poll campaign and calling for a stringent law to prevent “love jihad", Sarma on Thursday said, “Ignoring love jihad is like politics of appeasement and is a concern for the security of women. Even in Aaftab Poonawala’s polygraph test, several media reports said he revealed his actions will take him to jannat."
During an election rally in the national capital last week, Sarma had emphasized the importance of Uniform Civil Code (UCC) and a law against “love jihad". Citing the heinous murder, Sarma had said India “needs Lord Ram, and not Aaftab (murder accused)".
Aaftab allegedly strangled Walkar and sawed her body into 35 pieces, which he kept in a 300-litre fridge for almost three weeks at his residence in south Delhi’s Mehrauli before dumping those across the city over several days past midnight. Walkar was allegedly killed in May.
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