Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel was responding to a question on Uttar Pradesh's draft population control bill and a proposed formulation of a policy in this regard in Assam — both states are ruled by the BJP.
Amid push for a population control policy by some BJP-ruled states, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Wednesday said had the BJP not opposed the sterilisation drive in the 1970s the population would have not increased so much.
He also said creating public awareness is more important to contain the population growth rather than enacting laws.
Talking to reporters at Raipur airport before leaving for Nagpur, Baghel also said if the opposition parties had not opposed the ‘nasbandi’ (sterilization) drive in the 1970s (launched under the then Indira Gandhi government) the population would not have increased so much.
“This is the same BJP (referring to the erstwhile Bharatiya Jan Sangh) that had opposed the sterilization programme. If that drive had been carried forward in the 1970s, then the population would not have increased so much,” said the chief minister.
Baghel was responding to a question on Uttar Pradesh’s draft population control bill and a proposed formulation of a policy in this regard in Assam — both states are ruled by the BJP.
The UP draft bill has provisions to debar people who have more than two children from the benefits of government schemes and proposes perks to those who follow the two-child policy.
“In the 1970s, then opposition parties had made the population control programme the main election issue, and therefore, the drive got affected,” he said.
Baghel said the problem of the growing population will not be resolved by framing laws but public awareness is required for this purpose.
“Now many families, including the downtrodden sections, are realising the importance of having one or two children… I think public awareness should be created and laws should not be made only for the sake of politics”, he added.
In the same vein, Baghel attacked the Union government over its “wrong policies” which he said resulted in rising inflation.
“The BJP cannot understand the pains of the common man. The rising inflation is not due to the unavailability of commodities, rather it is due to the wrong policies of the Centre. They implemented demonetisation, GST and (pandemic) lockdown improperly and all these measures have now resulted in rising inflation,” the Congress leader said.
He also accused the Centre of not supplying sufficient fertilizers to Chhattisgarh.
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