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Assam CM Sparks Controversy with ‘Miya’ Remark on Rahul’s Nyay Yatra

Himanta Biswa Sarma. Photo: Twitter

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has ignited a controversy by referring to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s ‘Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra’ as ‘Miya Yatra,’ targeting Bengali-speaking Muslims in the state.

In response to corruption accusations from Gandhi, Sarma stated, “This is not ‘Nyay Yatra, it’s ‘Miya Yatra.’ Wherever there are Muslims, they visit those places.” He also claimed that only Muslim men, not women, would participate in the yatra.

Gandhi had earlier labelled Sarma as the “most corrupt chief minister” during his yatra in Assam. In retaliation, Sarma directed comments towards Rahul’s family and the Muslim community, drawing criticism for what is perceived as an Islamophobic remark.

Journalist Smita Sharma responded to Sarma’s comment, saying, “Those ‘Miyas’ constantly referred to with contempt are fellow Indian citizens. What kind of sad insecurity drives this constant portrayal of one’s own citizens as ‘others’ because of their religion?! Is there no other retort to resort to?”

High court advocate Aman Wadud accused Sarma of resorting to divisive tactics when faced with criticism. He said that there are no Bengali Muslims in Jorhat, contradicting Sarma’s claims.

Jeenal N. Gala from Congress’s minority department suggested that Sarma’s remarks are a tactic to divert attention from corruption charges against him and his family. She urged every Indian to resist such hatred.

Netta D’Souza, former president of All India Mahila Congress, criticized Sarma for playing the politics of hatred and religion. She said, “Discriminating in the name of religion and making low-level comments has been their old habit.” D’Souza emphasized the importance of fighting against such injustice and hatred.

Congress general secretary Jai Ram Ramesh commented on Sarma’s remarks, stating, “It is abundantly clear that the Assam CM is rattled and is nervous by the tremendous response being received by the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra.” He pointed out the enthusiastic welcome the yatra received from diverse sections of Assam’s society.

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