Days after his remarks on Sanjay Gandhi's sterilisation drive, BJP leader and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Monday clarified that his statement was aimed merely at controlling population and not praising any individual.
"I expressed my views only to contain population growth in the country and not to praise anybody," Chouhan told reporters on the sidelines of an ASSOCHAM function in Mumbai on Monday.
Chouhan's assertion came in the wake of his earlier remarks on August 28 lauding the compulsory sterilisation drive launched by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's son Sanjay Gandhi in the 1970s.
"After the Emergency leaders do not even talk about population control. Quite often I remember Sanjay Gandhi and I think that the campaign he started was certainly for the good of the public," Chouhan had said near Bhopal.
The statement was in sharp contrast to his party's stand, which has always criticised the Congress for the "forced" sterilisation programme.
"We need to keep the population growth in control," he said today.
Chouhan, did not elaborate on the methods his government has adopted to control population growth in Madhya Pradesh.
Sanjay Gandhi had initiated the programme in the 1970s and the programme was made part of the Government's family planning initiative. The programme attracted heavy criticism as several unmarried men were also allegedly sterilised.