mid a push for a population control policy by some Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled states, senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Saturday alleged the BJP’s motive of raising the issue is political and aimed at targeting a “particular community”.
The former Union minister said the population debate is “utterly misplaced” and half a century out-of-date as a large majority of Indian states have achieved replacement levels of fertility.
In an interview with PTI, Tharoor said the bigger challenge for India in the next 20 years will be to prepare for an ageing population, not a growing population.
He alleged the ruling party is raising this issue out of “thinly-concealed motivation” to target a “particular community”.
“It is no accident that the three states where the government is talking about reducing population are UP (Uttar Pradesh), Assam and Lakshadweep, where everyone knows who their intended audience is,” the Lok Sabha MP from Thiruvananthapuram said.
“The Hindutva elements in our polity have not really studied the demographic issues. Their motive is purely political and communal,” he said when asked about the push for population control in UP and Assam.
Tharoor’s remarks come days after Uttar Pradesh’s draft population control bill was made public and the Assam government proposed formulation of a policy in this regard. Both states are ruled by the BJP.