Union minister of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries, Giriraj Singh, courted yet another controversy on World Population Day by linking the rising population of the country with religion.
Singh, who is known for his controversial statements, first posted his views on Twitter and then told reporters on Thursday that population explosion was disturbing the social harmony and balance in the country.
The Begusarai BJP MP said that there should be a rule of having only two children in the country for every religion and those who violated it, should be debarred from the right to vote.
The minister, without naming any community, said that the rising population was posing threats to resources and harmony. “It’s ruining the economy,” he said.
Singh’s tweet in Hindi said, “Population explosion in India is disturbing social harmony and balance. Religious interference is also a reason related to population control. Like in 1947, India is heading towards division on the basis of culture. Every political party should come forward to make laws regarding population control.”
He requested all parties to mull over the issue seriously. “A strict law should be made to control the population. There is a need to raise the issue in Parliament,” he said.
Singh, three years ago, had demanded laws for sterilization in the country.
The firebrand BJP leader has always been in the news for the wrong reasons. During the parliamentary elections, he had demanded a ban on green flags, which he said, “tend to create hatred in the society and gives one a feeling of being in Pakistan.” This had caused huge embarrassment to BJP’s alliance partner, JD(U), as both JD(U) and the main opposition party, RJD, have green flags.
If that was not enough, he triggered another row during the Lok Sabha polls when during an election meeting he said, “Muslims will have to say Vande Mataram if they need three yards of land for a graveyard.” A comment that had angered key ally JD(U) which in turn asked the Election Commission (EC) to take cognizance of his comments.
Singh has been known for his controversial remarks in the past too. Only last year, he had embarrassed the Nitish Kumar-led NDA government in Bihar, when he demanded renaming Bakhtiarpur town, where Nitish Kumar was born. The minister also wanted the name of Akbarpur in his current Lok Sabha constituency of Nawada changed, saying it was named after Mughal emperor Akbar.
Singh’s latest comments on population found support from NDA MLAs in Bihar. “For the sake of the country, we need to control population, irrespective of religion. If not controlled today, it is bound to create food and water scarcity in the country,” said JD (U) MLA, Lallan Paswan. BJP’s MLA Sachindra Kumar, too, supported the union minister’s demand for population control.
The opposition, however, snubbed the demand. “This shows the narrow-mindedness of the union minister,” said RJD’s MLA, Bhola Yadav. Congress MLC Premchandra Mishra wondered how one can seize anybody’s voting rights. “He is in the habit of saying weird things,” Mishra said.
Jul 11, 2019 17:19 IST