Bharatiya Janata Party MLA in Assam sparked a controversy after he compared the Muslim community with cows that don’t yield milk.
Dibrugarh MLA Prasanta Phukan stated that state government should not take care of Muslims as they do not vote for the BJP.
While talking to a local TV channel, Prasanta Phukan reportedly said, “Ninety percent Hindus voted for the BJP, and 90 percent people from the Muslim community did not vote for us. If a cow is not giving milk, what is the point of feeding it fodder?”
Speaking to The Indian Express, the MLA claimed that his remark was misinterpreted.
“My point was simple. I said 90 percent Muslims do not vote for us. I used an Assamese proverb – what is the use of feeding a cow fodder if it does not give milk… I never intended to call the Muslim community ‘cow’. I said it is no use seeking their votes.” MLA Prasanta Phukan to The Indian Express
Opposition Attacked The BJP Leader
In response to Phukan’s remark, the Congress Leader of Opposition Debabrata Saikia, wrote to the Speaker demanding action against the BJP MLA.
In his letter, Saikia wrote that “Shri Phukan unequivocally termed the Muslim community of Assam as ‘cows that do not yield milk’, because, according to him, 90 per cent of the community did not vote for the BJP in Lok Sabha elections. Shri Phukan further stated that the government should not work for the welfare of Muslims because ‘there is no benefit in providing fodder to cows that do not yield milk’,” reported The Indian Express.
Anwar Hussain Laskar, All India United Democratic Front MLA from Hailakandi, said only a deranged person could make such a statement.
Nekibur Zaman, an advocate of the Gauhati High Court, said the BJP should suspend Mr. Phukan for the “shameless and condemnable” observation about Muslims. “His party should censure him for the cow analogy that is unbecoming of an elected representative,” he said.
Mr. Phukan, however, stood his ground. “I used a popular Assamese proverb on cows to drive home a point. I did not say anything wrong,” he said but insisted his statement was misinterpreted.
He pointed out that earmarking ₹100 crore in the budget did not yield any support from the Muslims for the BJP-led government in Assam.
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