Assam Chief Minister Himanta Bishwa Sarma today said the two-child policy was the only way to eradicate poverty and illiteracy among the Muslim minority in his state. She said community organizations welcomed her proposal to adopt better family planning policies, including this one.
“There is no resistance from the Muslim people. The last two groups from the Assam Minority Student Union met me twice in the last month and publicly welcomed (the proposal of two children) saying that the Muslims of Assam need a population control system,” Mr Sarma said today. He told media persons in Guwahati.
“I am meeting many Muslim intellectuals in July and I am sure they will support the policy of the state government as the only way to eradicate poverty and illiteracy from the Muslim minority in Assam.”
He said he had invited 150 Muslim intellectuals to meet him on July 40. He also plans to hold in-depth discussions with various socio-political organizations representing the community.
Mr Sarma announced a few days ago that a two-child policy would be implemented in phases in state-run welfare projects. To make it effective, his government may even introduce new legislation during the next budget session of the state legislature in July. Official sources had earlier indicated that the law could only qualify up to two children for government jobs and welfare projects.
The proposal and its rhetoric have been aimed at the Muslim population of the state of Bangladeshi origin. The BJP has won the last two assembly elections and relied heavily on statements made by the party to protect the indigenous community of Assam against illegal immigrants.