Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Thursday, 10 June, urged the minority Muslim community to adopt a "decent family planning policy" for population control. According to PTI, Sarma suggested this as a means to reduce poverty.
Sarma’s remarks come even though the last Census in India, carried out in 2011, show that Hindus comprise 79.8% of the population while Muslims make up only 14.2%, which is less than a fifth.
Sarma was quoted by PTI as saying that “all stakeholders in the community must come forward and support the government in helping reduce poverty in the community which is primarily due to an unabated increase in population.”
“The government is the guardian of all poor people but it needs the support of the minority community in tackling the issue of population growth which is the root cause of poverty, illiteracy and consequent lack of proper family planning.”Himanta Biswa Sarma
Sarma also reportedly said that his government will work towards educating the women of the community so that the problem can be tackled effectively.
Further Sarma, as per PTI, urged the community leaders to introspect and practice population control.
The Assam CM also said that the government cannot allow encroachment of temple, Satra and forest lands and that the members of the community have also assured the government that they do not want such encroachment.
(With inputs from PTI.)