Guwahati: A fresh row stirred on Sunday after Assam Governor P.B. Acharya while clarifying his controversial statement said that Hindus persecuted anywhere in the world have the right to come to India and it was the duty of Indians to welcome them, with Chief Minister Gogoi demanding his recall from the state.
"Hindus persecuted in other parts of the world have the right to come to India. It is our duty to receive them. Otherwise, where will they go? It is in this regard that I said that Hindustan is for Hindus," the governor told the media at Raj Bhavan here.
His statement on Sunday came a day after a section of the media quoted Acharya as saying that "Hindustan is for Hindus and that there is nothing wrong with that".
Acharya said a section of the media had published only half of his statement, making it controversial.
The governor's statement on Saturday about "Hindustan is for Hindus" stirred a controversy amid reports of large-scale illegal immigration from neighbouring Bangladesh and against the backdrop of the Centre's recent notification to allow religious minorities from neighbouring Pakistan and Bangladesh, fleeing persecution in those countries, to settle in India.
About the Muslims living in these countries, Acharya said, "The Muslims can go anywhere. They can go to Pakistan or to India, just like Taslima Nasrin has come to settle in India."
Acharya expressed concern over the ongoing updating of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam and said he had asked the department concerned to ensure a correct NRC without the name of even one illegal Bangladeshi migrant.
"The officials concerned told me they have received 68,33,204 applications as of August 31. The process of physical verification is on. I am sure the department will complete the process by December, as fixed by the central government," he said.
"I am sure the updated NRC will not have names of any illegal immigrants," the governor said.
Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi urged the central government to appoint a new governor for the state accusing Acharya of behaving like an RSS pracharak,
Gogoi, a Congress leader, said: "By saying that Hindustan is for Hindus, the governor has not only tarnished the dignity of the gubernatorial post but also breached the pledge he took to ensure unity and integrity of the country."
Gogoi, in a statement, said: "Acharya has also lost his ability to serve as a governor. He has also been working more like a BJP leader and a RSS pracharak."
He also appealed to the central government to appoint "a better person with broader outlook and mindset" as governor in the state.