GUWAHATI: Aminul Haque Laskar, BJP’s only Muslim MLA in Assam, believes India is the safest country for the community and it can benefit only under a party that does not see it as a vote bank.
Laskar, who represents the Sonai assembly seat in southern Assam’s Barak Valley, is one of the 55 first-time legislators. But he stands out for being the only Muslim member among 86 who occupied the treasury bench (for the ruling party or alliance) of the 14th Assam legislative assembly.
The BJP, with 60 seats, is the largest party among the allies, followed by the Asom Gana Parishad and Bodoland People’s Front.
Muslims, on the other hand, dominated the opposition bench comprising 40 members. Fourteen of them are Congress MLAs and 12 belong to All India United Democratic Front.
“People ask me why I joined BJP. I ask them why not?” Laskar, a contractor and an arts graduate, said. He says the BJP has not made him feel like an “odd man out”. But he does feel the pressure of being the only representative of 34% Muslims in the ruling alliance.