PATNA: A senior Bihar BJP leader’s statement that Uniform Civil Code be implemented across the country as early as possible and people having more than two children be stripped of all welfare benefits provided by the government has created an acrimonious atmosphere in the State.
Gopal Narayan Singh, 77, a Rajya Sabha member, said in a television interview that Hindus were being reduced to a minority in many places in the country as regional parties were using the minorities as vote banks and tacitly letting a large number of people cross the border and settle down.
His comments and suggestion, made apparently with the aim of impacting the Assembly poll campaign in neighbouring Uttar Pradesh, drew sharp protests from Bihar excise minister Abdul Jalil Mastan of Congress on Sunday while leaders of both RJD and JD(U) condemned the BJP parliamentarian’s “way of thinking”. “The rising population of the country renders all the benefits of development useless for the common man.
So the government must check the tendency of having more children... The practice of having four wives and 40 children prevalent in a particular religion should not be allowed to continue,” said Singh on Saturday.
Claiming that at least four crore Bangladeshis are illegally living in Bihar alone currently, Singh said Hindus in the state’s northeastern districts are on the verge of turning into minorities. “How can different sets of civil code be allowed to continue for citizens of the country when the Constitution has given the scope for framing a uniform civil code?” he asked. “It is our fundamental right to observe our religion the way we have been doing. Our scriptures have divine sanction (aasman se aaya hai). We will not abide by your law.
We will not tolerate anyone tampering with the Quran,” said Abdul Jalil Mastan, the excise minister of Bihar and a senior Congress leader. Prem Kumar of BJP, the leader of Opposition in Bihar Assembly, slammed the minister, saying: “His statements have no place in a democratic country guided by a Constitution. Nobody is above the law. He must speak within the peripheries of the Constitution”.