Assam to ask Centre to disqualify MLAs, MPs who violate two-child norm
The Assam government will recommend to the Centre disqualification of MLAs and MPs who do not adhere to the proposed two-child norm, health and family welfare minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said on Thursday.
“The government of Assam will take up with the Centre that MLAs adhere to family planning laws. The two-child norm will be proposed as a yardstick for any contestant to the state legislature,” Sarma said while addressing a press conference in Guwahati.
“In case any state MLA violates the norm, they may be disqualified and will be debarred from contesting polls in the future.”
The Assam government drafted a policy that makes the two-child norm mandatory to control population growth.
It said a person would not be eligible for government benefits and engagements, including jobs, if the proposed norm was violated.
The draft policy also stated that a person will not be eligible to become member of the panchayat and civic bodies if they have more than two children.
“We uploaded the draft policy in the (state government) website in March and solicited public opinion. So far, we have received 88 emails, 600 suggestions through social networking sites and 37 articles and reviews through the media. Based on this, we have prepared a second and final draft of the population policy,” Sarma said, adding that the new policy is also being renamed as Draft Population and Women Empowerment Policy of Assam.
However, the two-child norm will be relaxed in the case of twins or triplets.
The minister said the government had also decided to review the legal framework for protection of women’s rights.
“The government will review, enforce and change laws and practices discriminating against women. Stringent application of laws that prevent underage marriage, law against rape and domestic violence are also mooted.”
“In the interim period, such victims will be provided dependency allowance or pension. In case any women belonging to this category fail to get employment, they may be granted pension by the government,” the minister said.
Provisions will also include pension for widows, and other schemes only for divorcees and single women ensuring them “dignity and opportunity to live without persecution”.
The Assam government has decided to bring forth the new policy in the state assembly in August.