02/11/2016 10:52 AM IST | Updated 02/11/2016 11:11 AM IST

Assam Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma Says Hindu Migrants Welcome, Muslim Migrants Are Our Enemy

"We must now decide who to go with in order to save ourselves."

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Indian candidate Himanta Biswa Sarma (2nd L) of the BJP is accompanied by supporters on the way to file nomination papers from Jalukbari Assembly Constituency in Guwahati on March 21 2016.

It is the Bharatiya Janata Party's policy to differentiate between Hindu and Muslim migrants from Bangladesh to Assam, according to state cabinet minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.

"We clearly do," the state education, health and finance minister told The Indian Express. "After all, the country was divided in the name of religion. Thus it is not a new thing."

He told the newspaper that it was unclear if the people of Assam were becoming a minority in their state "from the linguistic aspect or religious aspect, or from a combined attack of both language and religion".

"That is why we must now decide who to go with in order to save ourselves."

ALSO READ: A Battle Of Identities In Assam Elections

Sarma, who is also the convenor of the BJP's North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA), was referring to the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in Assam, which aims to help Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Sikh migrants from Pakistan and Bangladesh to get refuge in India and grant them citizenship.

The BJP had won the assembly elections in Assam by a landslide earlier this year, primarily on the Hindutva ticket of 'protecting Assamese people and their identity' by clamping down on illegal migrants from Bangladesh.

Specifically, Muslim migrants. In fact, Sarma has gone as far as to call Muslim migrants "the enemy".

"We want the Bengali-speaking Hindus to remain with the Assamese people. That is the BJP's viewpoint. It has not changed. It has been the same, both before and after elections," Sarma said on Tuesday.

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