Guwahati: Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 helped the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to make a clean sweep during elections in the Northeast, said senior BJP leader and North East Development Alliance (NEDA) convenor Himanta Biswa Sarma in an exclusive interview with EastMojo.
Reiterating BJP’s commitment of implementing the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in the country, the senior party leader said that by addressing some concerns, the core and main principles of the bill will remain intact. With this massive mandate, it will be easier for the party to pass it in both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, he said.
“It was wrong to assume that this this bill will create backlash. This bill addresses concerns of displaced Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Christians, Jains, etc. It’s always wrong to call that the bill will create backlash if the bill works for the betterment of the displaced Hindus. If you do something for the Hindus in India why there should be a backlash?”
Reacting to Left parties’ allegations that the BJP played religious politics to woo voters this time, Sarma said, “It’s wrong to term that the BJP played religious politics to gain votes. The Left parties are out of the system because they failed to read the pulse of the voters. It’s really unfortunate that the Left parties have failed to realise the sentiments of the people of the country.”
Terming that the election results were on expected lines, the senior Assam minister said that he was disappointed that the party candidate from Nagaon seat in Assam, Rupak Sharma, was defeated by the Congress candidate, Pradyut Bordoloi, by a slender margin. “In almost all the constituencies, our candidates have won their respective seats by a massive margin of votes. It’s a victory for the BJP party. It’s a victory for Prime Minister Mr Modi. We are very much thankful for the people of Assam and the people of the Northeast as a whole,” he added.
When asked about his reaction on BJP’s victory over Congress in Silchar, he said that the result came as it was expected. Senior Congress leader Sushmita Deb was defeated by BJP candidate Dr Rajdeep Roy in Silchar Lok Sabha constituency. Senior Congress leaders, including party president Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi, etc, addressed rallies for Deb in Silchar. However, Roy defeated the Congress candidate by a margin of over 70,000 votes.
Sarma termed the victory of his party candidate Kripanath Malla in Karimgamj as the biggest news for the party. Malla defeated sitting MP Radheshyam Biswas of AIUFDF by a margin of over 40,000 votes. “It was our constituency. But it was taken away from us by the opposition almost 15 years back. It’s a big news and we are very much happy that Mr Malla has been able to retain the seat for the party after a gap of 15 long years. In this entire election, we are extremely happy that we have won the Karimganj seat,” he added.
Expressing happiness that the party and its alliance partners have made a landslide victory across the Northeast, Sarma said, “As NEDA, we have won 19 seats in the Northeast. We are happy. This is the result of the development activities carried out by Prime Minister Mr Modi.”
Commenting on his road shows, which hogged media limelight, Sarma said that they will celebrate this landslide victory, will dance again before going back to work to serve people.