NEW DELHI: Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Saturday took a dig at Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra for sweeping the floor when she was detained recently in Uttar Pradesh, asking how this could be news as cleaning a room is part of anyone's daily household chores.
Participating in the India Today Conclave 2021 here, Sarma said that India has changed and people will not pay attention to such "stage-managed" acts of politicians. "I don't know how come a lady sweeping the floor could be news. This is a common household practice in every family of India. I have seen my mother sweeping the floor. Have you not seen your mother sweeping the floor?" he asked.
The chief minister said the act of Priyanka Gandhi, during her detention in Uttar Pradesh, was "staged-managed" otherwise how come a photographer was present there to shoot the video.
Priyanka Gandhi was detained at Sitapur in Uttar Pradesh early on Monday when she was on her way to Lakhimpur Kheri to meet the families of farmers who were killed after a convoy of vehicles ran over them on Sunday.
Ashish Mishra, the son of Union Minister of State for Home Ajay Kumar Mishra, was allegedly in that convoy and police have registered a murder case against him for the incident. During the detention at a police guesthouse in Sitapur, Priyanka Gandhi was seen in a video sweeping the floor.
On Friday, the Congress leader made a surprise visit to a Dalit hamlet in Lucknow and picked up a broom to clean it.
Replying to a question on the Assam government's move to evict encroachers from government land, the chief minister said eviction process, be it against indigenous people or migrant Muslims, will continue according to the state government's land policy. "We cannot allow 1,000 families to grab 77,000 acres of land. Eviction is an ongoing process," he said.
Deaths of two people and desecration of one of the bodies during an eviction drive in Assam's Darrang district recently were condemned by individuals, political parties and social groups.
Sarma said that many people in Assam, since pre-Independence days, believe that migrant Muslims are the root cause of many problems like the encroachment of land and losing the culture and identity by the indigenous people.
He said efforts should be made by migrant Muslims to remove such beliefs of the indigenous people.
Asked about his controversial comments that he does not want the votes of migrant Muslims, the chief minister said he knows that the community does not vote for the BJP and that is why he does not want to spend time wooing them.
"I have made a deal. They will not vote for us. So, I will not campaign in their areas. But I will carry out all development works in their areas," he said. Sarma also gave an example saying out of the seven lakh free houses to be constructed in Assam, 4.5 lakh will be of migrant Muslims.