BJP leaders demand two-child law in MP

By Pervez Bari

Bhopal: Close on the heels of proposed 2-child norm as per the “population control policy” to be implemented by the BJP-ruled Assam and Uttar Pradesh governments the noted BJP leaders of another BJP-ruled state viz. Madhya Pradesh are clamouring to follow suit in the state.

The outcry for the “population control policy” to enact a law in this sphere is unambiguously intended to target Muslims in the state.

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BJP MPs including Sadhvi Pragya from Bhopal, Sudhir Gupta from Mandsaur and state cabinet ministers Vishvas Sarang, and Rameshwar Sharma MLA from Huzur constituency in Bhopal district have been continuously advocating enforcing population control law in Madhya Pradesh.

Some of those demanding such measures lashed out at the Muslim community for “marrying two, three times and producing 10 kids”. However, they seemed to forget that they themselves have as many children themselves.

Ram Lallu Vaishya, a BJP MLA from Singrauli in the state, seemed to hold Muslims responsible for India’s massive population, declaring: “Our policy was ‘We two and our two’, but did it succeed? Hindus were asked to get a vasectomy, but others were left free. This should not happen.” Interestingly Mr. Vaishya has nine children.

While the BJP’s Mahendra Singh Sisodia called for a UP-like population control mechanism. He said: “There are many laws to control population but Uniform Civil Code has to be implemented because Muslims marry two-three times and produce 10 children. There should be a limit on number of children produced irrespective of caste or religion,” he said.

Cabinet Minister Vishwas Sarang said it was his “firm belief” such a law should be passed.

Meanwhile, the Opposition Congress, however, has slammed BJP for confusing citizens. State media coordinator Narendra Saluja said that BJP leaders are giving contradictory statements. “We have heard statements from RSS chief, to MP Sadhvi Pragya Thakur advocating Hindus to have more children. On the contrary, VHP in UP is protesting against Yogi’s proposal,” said Saluja.

Arif Masood, a Congress MLA from Bhopal, has said:”At Independence population was close to 40 crores (Muslims were 12 crores)… now it is 130 crores (Muslims are around 25 crores)… The reason for all this is not ‘population control’… the real reason is the UP election”. Masood has four children.

Earlier, former M.P. Assembly pro-tem speaker and BJP MLA Rameshwar Sharma wrote a letter to Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, urging to enact a legislation to control population in Madhya Pradesh.

“It is necessary to control the continuously increasing population of the state by passing legislation to this effect. The estimated population of the state in 2021 is about 8.75 crore. It means the population has increased by 1.5 crore in the last 10 years, as the state’s population in 2011 was 7.25 crore,” Sharma stated in his letter.

He also mentioned that the state’s population is more than several European countries. ‘By enacting the population Control Act, the state will be able to provide safety, security and ensure proper development,’ he stated in the letter.

However, Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra has stopped the war of words between Congress and BJP over ‘population control law’ by saying that the government does not have any such proposal.

Replying to the media Mishra has said that he was not responsible for what Congress or others were saying but there was no such proposal with the state government.

It may be recalled here that in 2000 the Congress-ruled government introduced a two-child norm for government employees and panchayat-level polls that was challenged in court and then withdrawn by a BJP-ruled government in 2005.

Meanwhile, the Madhya Pradesh state Vidhan Sabha has 227 sitting MLAs, of whom 125 are from the BJP. 49 of these MLAs have more than three children. There are 14 BJP MLAs who have more than four and three MLAs have more than five. While, the Congress has 95 MLAs, of whom 33 have three or more children.

Of the 31 ministers in Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Chouhan’s cabinet, 13 have three or more children. Madhya Pradesh is India’s sixth most populated state according to the 2011 census.

Sources have said Madhya Pradesh MLAs (like BJP MPs in Parliament) are considering a private member’s bill on population control and the Uniform Civil Code in the next Assembly session.

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