Two-child plan not targeted at any community: Naqvi
The minister’s comments came in the wake of protests by opposition parties over last week’s move by the Assam Cabinet which is meant to come into force from January 1, 2021.Updated: Oct 28, 2019 23:36 IST
An Assam Cabinet proposal to bar those with more than two children from getting government jobs is not aimed at targeting any particular community, but population explosion on account of illegal immigrants cannot be ignored, Union minority affairs minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said on Monday.
The minister’s comments came in the wake of protests by opposition parties over last week’s move by the Assam Cabinet which is meant to come into force from January 1, 2021.
The state Cabinet proposal flows from the Population and Women Empowerment Policy of Assam that was approved by the state assembly in 2017.
Lok Sabha member Badruddin Ajmal, who is also the head of the All India United Democratic Front, stirred a row on Saturdaysaying Muslims would continue to have more children notwithstanding any law. “Not just our religion, even I personally believe that...none can stop it…It is not good to tamper with nature,” Ajwal was quoted by the media.
Naqvi said the issue is being politicised as the Assam government move is not meant for any specific religion or community.
“In a revolutionary move, the Cabinet approved Two Child norms and Prohibition of Child Marriage Act norms for entry and continuation in govt service,” chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal tweeted on Tuesday.
“A policy is for all. Whatever reforms need to be taken for controlling population should be undertaken. No one should object to this...There is a need to create awareness about these issues. There is a population explosion from illegal immigrants that cannot be ignored,” Naqvi said.
The Congress party’s Assam unit chief, Ripun Bora, also criticised the move. “In a democratic country nobody can impose two-child policy on anyone unless everybody accepts it. Instead of imposing two child #Assam #BJP Govt should go for expansion of education in a massive way,” he tweeted. However, his party criticised Ajmal’s statement.
Naqvi sought to assuage the concerns by citing the example of the National Register of Citizens (NRC), for which legal aid can be sought by those whose names have not been included in the list.
“Legal remedy will be given to those whose names are not on the list to ensure that those who are Indian citizens will not be affected. The allegations being raised (of targeting Muslims) are a misguided campaign,” he said.
Assam is not the only state to have such a policy. In Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chattisgarh, people with more than two children are barred from government jobs. In Telangana, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra, among others, those with more than two children are not allowed to fight panchayat polls.
Supreme Court advocate Viplav Sharma said, “Assam is not the first state to implement a population control policy which bars/discourages persons having more than two children either from contesting elections or government jobs. Many states like Rajasthan, Telenagana, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra are implementing such a policy. There were petitions against the policy in courts, but they have been dismissed.”