GUWAHATI: The BJP-led government in Assam will write to the Centre seeking amendment to the Representation of the People Act so that the lawmakers in the state could be brought under the ambit of its two-child draft population policy.
The state’s health, education and finance minister Himanta Biswa Sarma told reporters in Guwahati on Thursday that the government wanted the elected representatives to adhere to the family planning norms. “The government of Assam will take up with the government of India that MLAs in the State adhere to the family planning norms. The two-child norm will be proposed as the yardstick for any contestant to the State legislature. In case any MLA flouts the family planning norms, he or she may be disqualified from his or her membership and be debarred from contesting polls in future,” he said.
He, however, added that the two-child norm would be relaxed in case of birth of twins or triplets or in other special circumstances on a case-to-case basis. As regards to participation in the government, he said candidates having only two children would be eligible.
“Government servants will strictly follow the norm of two children to serve as role models for the society. Persons who violate the legal age of marriage will not be eligible for any employment or employment-generation schemes of the government. Government may legislate legal provision to bar people with more than two children to take part in panchayat and municipal body election,” Sarma said.
The minister informed that special focus on family planning would be in 12 districts such as Morigaon, Dhubri, Bongaigaon, Goalpara, Darrang, Morigaon, Nagaon, Karimganj, Hailakandi, Barpeta, Cachar and Kamrup.
Speaking on steps being taken for empowerment of women, Sarma said, “Steps would be taken to prevent women being abandoned and deserted by husbands on flimsy grounds such as the birth of a girl child. There will be provision for pension for widows (in addition to the existing ones). There will be schemes for divorcees and single women to ensure they can live their lives with dignity and without economic persecution. There will be provisions for skill upgradation of Muslim women divorcees to help in gainful employment in the interim period. Such divorcees will be provided dependency allowance/pension.”