Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sharma on Monday said Hindus should not be seen in a context of a religion but culture.
Sharma's comment came after Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju's claim that 'Hindu population is dropping as minorities flourish by converting people'.
"Hindus should not be seen in a context of a religion but a culture and that culture is there for 500 years ago. There is no question of converting any particular state to any religion," he told ANI supporting Rijiju.
Sharma further said the local population in Assam was also going down, however attributing it to the influx of illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.
"In Assam also, because of huge influx from Bangladesh, our local population is coming down every day. In Assam it is not related to conversion, it's related to uncontrolled influx from Bangladesh. It has reduced the local community to a minority," he added.
Rijiju, earlier in the day, dubbed the Congress allegation that Narendra Modi-led BJP Government was trying to convert Arunachal Pradesh into a Hindu state as 'irresponsible' and asked the grand old party not to make such provocative statements.
"Hindu population is reducing in India because Hindus never convert people. Minorities in India are flourishing unlike some countries around," Rijiju said in his tweet.
Posting a series of tweets along with a screenshot of a news report that quoted the Arunachal Pradesh Congress Committee as saying that the BJP government is "trying to convert Arunachal Pradesh into a Hindu state", Rijiju reminded the grand old party that India is a secular country.
"Why is Congress making such irresponsible statements? People of Arunachal Pradesh are unitedly living peacefully with each other. Congress should not make such provocative statements. India is a secular country. All religious groups enjoy freedom and living peacefully," he added.