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'Hold Your Thoughts': BJP, Cong Spar Over Population Policy in Karnataka

It is to be noted that Karnataka has a fertility rate lower than the national average and also desired rate of 2.1.

Published
India
2 min read
<div class="paragraphs"><p>Congress leader Dinesh Gundu Rao and BJP leader CT Ravi spar over Population policy in Karnataka. Image used for representational purposes.&nbsp;</p></div>
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A war of words has erupted between BJP National General Secretary CT Ravi and Congress leader Dinesh Gundu Rao over the need for population control measures in Karnataka.

While Rao said that BJP's Uttar Pradesh population control policy is coercive, Ravi asked if one should follow the "population control model" adopted by the Congress during the emergency?

On Tuesday, 13 July, Ravi, BJP MLA from Karnataka and also in-charge of Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Goa, had demanded that Karnataka bring in a new population policy on the lines of Assam and Uttar Pradesh, to control its growing population.

His tweet read, "It is high time Karnataka brought in a new population policy on the lines of Assam and Uttar Pradesh to control its growing population. With the limited natural resources available, it will be difficult to meet the needs of every citizen if there is a population explosion."

Referring to Ravi's demand for a population policy for Karnataka, Congress MLA Rao, who is the party in-charge of Tamil Nadu, tweeted, "CT Ravi, Uttar Pradesh population control policy is coercive and has unintended consequences. Also Karnataka has a Fertility Rate of 1.7, which is below the replacement rate of 2.1. We're doing well without such unscientific policies, so please hold your thoughts."

According to the Fifth National Family Health Survey (NFHS), India’s Total Fertility Rate (TFR) in 2020 was 2.2 births per woman.

According to the Niti Ayog, as of 2016, states like Uttar Pradesh (3.1), Bihar (3.3), Chhattisgarh (2.5), and Madhya Pradesh (2.8) have a TFR higher than the national average, while southern states – Andhra Pradesh (1.7), Karnataka (1.8), Kerala (1.8), Telangana (1.7), and Tamil Nadu (1.6) – have a TFR lower than the national average and also the desired rate of 2.1.

Hitting back at Rao, Ravi asked, should men who have more than two children be sterilised forcibly? "If the Uttar Pradesh population control policy is coercive, should one follow the population control model adopted by Congress during the emergency? Should men who produce more than two children be sterilised forcibly? Will it have intended consequences, Dinesh Gundu Rao? Please clarify."

(This article was first published in The News Minute and republished here with permission.)

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