Bihar population control: JD(U) hits back at ally, says BJP telling only half truth

Again betraying their frosty relations, the ruling JD(U) and its ally the BJP in Bihar are not of the same opinion on population control. And the differences are widening.

Just days after BJP Bihar Unit Chief Dr. Sanjay Jaiswal suggested that the government, to control the population of the state, reward those who have only two childrenthe ruling party accused the BJP of misleading people on the issue.

“The BJP has exposed half truths about the people of Bihar,” JD(U)MLC Neeraj Kumar told the Indian Express on Tuesday.

Jaiswal’s demand for a free 25kg ration and Ayushman health cards as an incentive for those with only two children had closely followed Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s outright rejection of the Center’s plan to introduce a law on population control.

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Reiterating Nitish’s assertion that “only education and awareness” can help bring down the population, Kumar said the BJP must first answer why the party-led NDA rejected incitements to promote the norm of two children.

“The government of Atal Bihari Vajpayee had set up a population control commission which recommended granting benefits to civil servants who had no more than two children. But the NDA government rejected the idea and gave preference to education,” Kumar said.

Kumar said the BJP was also wrong to blame Muslims for the population growth, as the difference between the fertility rate of Muslims and Hindus “decreased from 1.10 in 1992 to 0.36 in the latest population survey. health “.

“According to the National Family Health Survey, Bihar’s fertility rate in 2019-21 was 2.98 compared to 3.41 in 2015-16. But it is a fact that in 2019-21, the fertility rate fell the fastest in Bihar after Nagaland, at 0.43 against the national average of 0.20,” Kumar said.

The JD(U)MLC also countered Jaiswal who had cited the state’s high population density as justification for the population control incentives.

“Blaming high population density for state backwardness is misleading. After all, Kerala has a higher population density than Bihar and it has managed to control its fertility rate,” he said.

Apart from Jaiswal, other senior BJP leaders such as Union Minister Giriraj Singh and State Minister Neeraj Singh Bablu have advocated for a population control law in addition to “a few extraordinary measures” to control population growth. Advocating for the “education and awareness model,” Kumar reminded the BJP how the Congressional vasectomy campaign in 1976 had failed.