Himanta told NDTV during a video interview that the huge mandate BJP has got in Assam and West Bengal justified the move.
“Despite all propoganda, the mandate we have got makes it clear that the opposition to the CAB is tenuous. By promising CAB, we have gained in both West Bengal and Assam,” Himanta told NDTV.
He said the BJP was committed to provide refuge and citizenship to persecuted minorities from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
BJP sources in Delhi said that with the phenomenal showing in West Bengal and Assam, the party leadership has good reasons to believe that the CAB stance helped the saffron brigade do well at the hustings.
The feeling in the BJP party centre is that the promise of CAB – and opposition to it by Trinamool Congress and Congress – helped consolidation of the Bengali Hindu vote behind the BJP and led to astounding gains in West Bengal, Assam and Tripura.
“CAB is one of the bills that we will table soonest possible in the Parliament. Other parties will see the folly in opposing it and back us. If that happens, we can get the bill through both houses of Parliament that did not happen last time,” said a top BJP leader on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to media.
NDTV presenter Nidhi Razdan confronted Himanta Biswa Sarma over CAB being religion driven and thus contradicting the fundamentals of Indian polity.
“If Muslims like Ahmadiyas can prove they are persecuted in Bangladesh or Pakistan and they want refuge in India, let them give an affidavit in an Indian court and we will take it up,” said Himanta, insisting, “I need some definite document but mind you we are not opposed to Muslims.”
“We just want to protect Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists who have come to India to evade persecution in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan.”