GUWAHATI: The BJP-led government in Assam, if voted back to power, has vowed to put Congress MLA Sherman Ali behind bars for saying that the “blue-coloured lungi” that is typical of the attire of migrant Bengali-speaking Muslims should be displayed at the “Miya museum” he wants set up within the Srimanta Sankardev Kalakshetra.
“How can someone stoop so low and say that a lungi be kept in a revered place like the kalakshetra. We are not arresting him now because that would give him votes . We will arrest him once we are voted back to power — if he does not apologise in public now,” finance and health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said on Saturday.
In a letter to the director of museums, Ali had said that a museum reflecting the culture and heritage of the people living in the char-chaporis (sandbars) of Assam had already been recommended by an assembly standing committee on the premises of the kalakshetra in Guwahati.
Minister Sarma said BJP was all for preserving “charchapori culture” but not that of the Miyas, a term often used disparagingly in Assam to refer to illegal Muslim immigrants from Bangladesh.