Assam Opposition slams government's two-child policy for job

The policy, allegedly a brainchild of RSS, suggests a denial of government jobs besides facilities under government-sponsored schemes to people with more than two children among others.
Image used for representational purpose.
Image used for representational purpose.

GUWAHATI: Opposition parties in Assam are critical of the State’s BJP-led coalition government’s new draft population policy.

Made public by the State’s minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Sunday, the policy suggests a denial of government jobs besides facilities under government-sponsored schemes to people with more than two children among others.

The Congress said it would not accept any policy, the decision on which had been taken unilaterally by the State government.

“We will not accept the policy if government brings this unilaterally. The government should talk to all political parties and take them into confidence,” Pradesh Congress Committee president, Ripun Bora, told the New Indian Express.

He said the Congress did not have any reservation against any population control policy but insisted that it should not violate fundamental and Constitutional rights. 

“Let them bring it but it should be made into a law which is uniform for the entire country. Secondly, the policy speaks about only government employees. What about people working in the private sector?” They should also be brought under the purview of the policy,” he asserted.

Bora alleged that the government’s move was aimed at diverting people’s attention from the burning problem of unemployment in the State.

“The government has not been able to give jobs to the unemployed. So through such a move, the government is trying to divert people’s attention from the issue,” he alleged.

Minority-based All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) is also opposed to draft proposals.

“There are certain points in the draft proposals where we have our disagreement. We will meet on April 13 and discuss the issue. Subsequently, we will issue a statement,” AIUDF spokesperson Aminul Islam said.

Sarma had said, “This is a draft population policy where we suggested that people with more than two children will not be eligible for any government jobs”. 

He had categorically said that an employee would have to maintain it till the time he or she retired from service. He also said that the policy would apply to contestants of elections including panchayats, civic bodies and autonomous councils.

The minister said the government would also consider increasing the legal age of marriage from 18 years for girls and 21 years for boys.

The policy, allegedly a brainchild of RSS, is being viewed as an attempt to curb rising population among Bengali Muslims. The Muslims are in a majority in nine of Assam’s 32 districts. Their population increased from 30.9 per cent in 2001 to 34.2 per cent in 2011. 

According to 2001 census, Assam’s population was 26,655,528 - 17,296,455 of them Hindus and 8,240,611 Muslims. Ten years later, the population of Hindus was estimated at 19,180,759 but the Muslim population had gone up to 10,679,345.

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The New Indian Express