Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Thursday took part in a presentation on a proposed population policy, amid a state law commission exercise on the same issue.
The law commission is examining the possibility of enacting legislation to help control population growth, studying “incentives and disincentives”.
A state government press release said Adityanath reviewed a presentation on the proposed ‘Uttar Pradesh Population Policy 2021-30’.
At the meeting, he said it is necessary to control the population growth rate for the state’s development and to ensure better facilities for everyone.
Adityanath said special attention should be given in the proposed policy to make people aware of the issue. They should be told that a small family is the basis of prosperity, the statement quoted him as saying.
With a reduced population density, people will have a better environment, he said, also calling for the need to “stabilise” population.
The Uttar Pradesh Law Commission chairperson Justice (retd) A.N. Mittal last month told PTI that the panel is examining the feasibility of legislation related to population.
He said the commission is studying “incentives and disincentives” as well aspects like “polygamy and polyandry”.
He hoped to submit the recommendations, which the government may reject or accept, within the next two months.
The government statement, however, did not mention the panel’s work.
The list of participants at the presentation included ministers and officials dealing with health and health education.
The state law commission exercise has already triggered some controversy in the state. Samajwadi Party MLA Iqbal Mehmood recently charged that any law on population control would be a “conspiracy” against Muslims.
“The rise in the country’s population is due to Dalits and tribals and not because of Muslims,” Mehmood had said, triggering a demand by BJP MP Brij Lal that he should be booked for hurting the sentiments of the Scheduled Caste community.
Brij Lal, who is a former Uttar Pradesh Police chief, also went on to make provocative remarks.
“Dalits do not indulge in four marriages, nor do they allow the Rohingyas and illegal Bangladeshis to ingress into the country,” he said, also alleging a “conspiracy” to convert India to Islam.
The Rajya Sabha MP said population growth needs to be controlled, and this is not possible without making a law.
He said the initiative by the Yogi Adityanath government should be supported by “rising above party lines”.