Updated: July 15, 2021 7:36:22 am
With BJP leaders in several states advocating population control policies, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister and senior Congress leader Bhupesh Baghel on Wednesday said had the saffron party not opposed the then Congress government’s measures in the 1970s, India’s population would have been “under control” by now.
He also slammed the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh, which has released a draft population control Bill, and asked whether it can guarantee jobs to those with two children.
Baghel, who addressed the media in Nagpur after arriving from Raipur, said remarks by BJP leaders on population control measures are being made with an eye on the UP Assembly polls, due next year.
Besides UP, senior BJP leaders in Assam, Karnataka and Bihar have recently advocated population control policies, while Gujarat Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel on Tuesday said the BJP government in the state will take a decision on a law at an “appropriate time”.
Referring to the two-child policy proposed by the UP government, he said, “The BJP (then Jan Sangh) had opposed population control measures initiated by the Congress in the 1970s. If allowed to continue, those measures would have brought the country’s population under control by now. Now BJP is harping on the two-child policy and saying that government jobs will not be given to couples who have more than two children.”
“So will they guarantee government jobs to couples who fit the bill (have two children)? If yes, then bring a law to provide jobs to all the people having two children,” he said.
In Nagpur to participate in the Congress’s nationwide agitation against price-rise, Baghel criticised the Narendra Modi government for its “economic failures”. He said, “The BJP was vociferously raising the issue of petrol and diesel prices when it was in Opposition. But now, when fuel and LPG prices have skyrocketed, they are not bothered. The Congress agitation is to draw (public) attention to BJP’s hypocrisy and to highlight the agony faced by the people at a time when Covid-19 has already taken a heavy toll on their economic conditions.”
Baghel added, “The Modi government has completely failed in controlling retail price inflation, which rose to over 12 per cent in May, according to the RBI.”
He also accused the saffron party of contesting elections on emotive issues. “When it comes to elections, BJP never refers to issues that matter to the common public — such as price-rise, farmers’ issues, unemployment, GST, etc. They take to communal and emotive issues to divide Hindus and Muslims.”
Criticising the Centre’s GST policy, Baghel said: “As the then Gujarat CM, Modi had opposed the GST policy. After becoming PM, he ushered it in. But instead of one GST for the entire nation, there are five different GSTs, which causes problems for traders. Moreover, the Modi government is also not giving states their due from the GST collection. Chhattisgarh itself is yet to get Rs 36,000 crore share from the Centre.”
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