PATNA: Lok Janshakti party leader Chirag Paswan on Thursday voiced his disapproval of legislative measures to control population growth, departing from the stance taken by the BJP, his preferred alliance partner.
The embattled LJP leader, who was stuck within his own party following a political coup staged by his uncle Pashupati Kumar Paras and cousin Prince Raj, was speaking to reporters at the airport here at back from a two-day tour of Delhi.
“There is no doubt that we are a country with limited resources and unbridled population growth could be disastrous. But we must try to raise public awareness instead of thinking in terms of enacting laws.”
“Let’s not forget the forced sterilizations during the emergency that gave population control a bad name,” Chirag said.
Notably, bills introduced recently by BJP governments in Assam and Uttar Pradesh have led to a national debate over the effectiveness of laws in controlling population growth.
There are also fears that the saffron party could use the issue to blame Muslims for population growth, pointing out that polygamy is permitted under Islamic law and that communities perceive a revulsion for birth control measures.
Skeptics of the legal route include Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, whose JD(U) is currently the BJP’s biggest ally.
Chirag, whose acrimony with Kumar appears to have been the LJP’s tipping point, also launched a veiled inquiry into the JD(U) leader, saying “if the laws were so effective in bringing about change, why is- that alcohol is still available here despite the ban being in place for so long”.
The sale and consumption of alcohol in the state was completely banned by the government of Nitish Kumar in 2016.
Chirag, who took offense at the Narendra Modi government recognizing the breakaway faction led by Paras who was even inducted into the Union cabinet, was also asked about the possibility of an alliance with the RJD.
The late Ram Vilas Paswan’s son had met with RJD National General Secretary Shyam Rajak in Delhi and is said to have spoken by phone to party supremo Lalu Prasad and his heir apparent Tejashwi Yadav.
“I said this earlier and I would like to reiterate that only during elections can we think in terms of alliances. ‘State which has been a huge success, a fact noted even by my acquaintances in Delhi,’ he replied.
In the second term, the attention of Jamui MPs was drawn to the stings thrown by some JD(U) leaders who had questioned Chirags’ “reluctance” to visit his own parliamentary constituency.
“Tell the JD(U) men not to worry. I’ll be here soon,” the 38-year-old former Bollywood actor said with his trademark swagger.