Guwahati, Nov 28: The BJP today defended acting Assam Governor Padmanabha Balakrishna Acharya's controversial statement "Hindustan is for Hindus" and hinted that he will not be removed from the state as of now. "The Governor's statement is being misinterpreted.
The state government under Tarun Gogoi is misleading the people regarding his (Acharya's) statement," BJP General Secretary Ram Madhav said at a press conference here.
"The Tarun Gogoi government does not have any issue to talk about, so they are trying to mislead people with a non-issue," he added. Asked if the Centre will concede to the state government's demand of removing Acharya and appoint a permanent Governor, Madhav indicated that it is unlikely at this moment.
"People always demand many things. They say he must be removed or she must be removed. Is it done in that way?" the BJP leader said. On November 21, Acharya stoked a controversy with his "Hindustan is for Hindus" remark.
While clarifying it the next day, he commented that Indian Muslims are "free to go to Pakistan" escalating the row and sparking a demand for his removal by Gogoi and others.
Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi had on Monday demanded the removal of Governor Acharya, saying the incumbent "does not know how to maintain his dignity" as the Constitutional head, adding that "Appointment of such persons as Governor and such statements will disintegrate the country and affect the unity."
Yesterday, the Assam Pradesh Congress Committee took out a rally in Guwahati demanding removal of the acting Governor. Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan and BSP chief Mayawati also demanded his immediate removal from the post.