Hitting out at those critical of the Yogi Adityanath government’s steps aimed at stabilising the population in Uttar Pradesh, Union Minority Affairs Minister Abbas Naqvi on Sunday said the people doing politics or giving communal colour to such efforts were “enemies” of the state and the country.
While addressing the newly-elected representatives of panchayats on his two-day visit to Rampur, the BJP leader said population control is the need of the hour and it is heartening that the campaign for population control is being started from Uttar Pradesh, which is India’s most populous state.
Chief Minister Adityanath on Sunday unveiled a policy aimed at stabilising the population in Uttar Pradesh and reducing maternal and infant deaths in a time-bound manner as he termed the rising population a “hurdle in development”.
A few days ago, a draft bill on population control was put up on the website of the Uttar Pradesh law commission inviting suggestions from the public till July 19. It says people having more than two children in Uttar Pradesh will be debarred from contesting local bodies polls, applying for government jobs or receiving any kind of subsidy.
Naqvi said those who are linking the population control mission to a particular religion are trying to impose their “distorted mentality and communal thinking”. Those doing politics or giving communal colour to the efforts of population control in Uttar Pradesh are “enemies” of the country as well as of the state, Naqvi was quoted as saying in a statement released by his office.
“Uttar Pradesh is working for awareness on population control, and we should welcome the step taken by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath Ji. This step will prove to be a gift for the society and the generations to come,” he said. His remarks came after Samajwadi Party MP Shafiqur Rahman Barq slammed the BJP government over its draft population control bill and asked where will India get manpower in case of a war if people are not allowed to procreate.
The parliamentarian from Uttar Pradesh’s Sambhal said “it is Allah who decides” the number of lives on earth and no amount of checks can control that. Calling it BJP’s “political agenda” ahead of the assembly polls, UP Congress spokesperson Ashok Singh in a Hindi tweet said, “The RSS and BJP leaders talk about increasing the population. Population control is a subject of the Centre. Yogi Adityanath (CM) is bringing the bill keeping in mind the UP Assembly elections.” In June, Sambhal MLA Iqbal Mehmood had said that any law on population control would be a “conspiracy” against Muslims.
In his remarks, Naqvi said doing politics and adding the “colour of communalism” on the population control mission is neither in the interest of the country nor the society. The Minority Affairs Minister said “it is our responsibility to fulfil the aspirations of the people who have elected us and expressed their trust in us”. “Our government is for all those who have voted for us and also those who have not voted for us. There should be no discrimination with anyone in terms of development,” he asserted.
Stressing that inclusive development should be the priority, Naqvi said the Centre and the state government will provide enough funds for development activities to ensure the welfare of villages, poor, farmers and weaker sections. He said the mandate for the BJP in the recent panchayat elections was a testimony to people’s support to measures taken by the Narendra Modi government at the Centre and the Yogi Adityanath government in UP.
“These results are a crystal clear indication of our victory in the upcoming Assembly elections,” Naqvi said. Referring to the allegations being made by opposition parties in the conduct of the panchayat polls, Naqvi said it showed their frustration over successive defeats.