A representative of the BJP government in the state recently met the leaders of various minority communities and told them categorically not to listen to rumours. He assured them BJP will work for the welfare of all, irrespective of religion, caste or community.
A section in the state has expressed apprehension whether the BJP--mostly known as the Hindu party--would be sincere enough to protect the interest of Muslims, Christians, Sikhs and Jains.
"A section is trying to confuse the minority communities, saying the BJP is against their interests. But the people of Assam reposed faith in the BJP by giving them the responsibility to serve society and work for development. We need to work together irrespective of religion, caste and community and try to bridge the loopholes in the process," said Harekrishna Bharali, vice-president of Assam BJP.
The leaders from all the communities handed over their lists of demands to the BJP representative to be fulfilled at the earliest. The indigenous Muslim community wants the government to provide full political safeguard to the 40 lakh community members, identity cards to the Muslims citizens, inclusion of their names in the census and creation of a special economic council for them.
Similarly, the Bodo Christians want creation of welfare offices, hostel, community hall or guest house in each district, subsidy for pilgrims' tour and setting-up of a theological college in Kokrajhar.
The Asomiya Sikh Santha, the prominent organisation representing the Sikhs in Assam, wants reservation for the community members in education and jobs. The Sikhs also want to declare the gurdwara in Dhubri as a historical monument and the one in Chaparmukh as a cultural centre.
The Jain Panchayat, representing the Jain population, wants minority certificate for the Jains and reservation for them in education and jobs.