After Nitish, now Chirag Paswan disapproves of legal measures for population control



PATNA: Lok Janshakti Party leader Chirag Paswan on Thursday voiced his disapproval of taking legislative measures to check population growth, diverging from the stance adopted by the BJP, his favourite alliance partner.

The beleaguered LJP leader, who has been left cornered within his own party in the wake of a political coup staged by his uncle Pashupati Kumar Paras and cousin Prince Raj, was talking to reporters at the airport here upon returning from a two-day tour of Delhi.

“It is beyond doubt that we are a country with limited resources and unbridled population growth could be disastrous. But we must try to raise public awareness instead of thinking in terms of enacting laws.”

“Let us not forget the forced sterilizations during the Emergency which gave population control a bad name”, said Chirag.

Notably, bills moved recently by BJP governments in Assam and Uttar Pradesh have led to a nationwide debate on the efficacy of laws in checking population growth.

There are also apprehensions that the saffron party could use the issue to pin the blame of population growth on Muslims, pointing towards polygamy being permissible under the Islamic law and the communitys perceived revulsion for birth control measures.

Those sceptical of the legal route include Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, whose JD(U) is at present the largest BJP ally.

Chirag, whose acrimony with Kumar seems to have been the tipping point in the LJP, also took a veiled dig at the JD(U) leader, saying “if laws were so effective in bringing about change, why is it that liquor is still available here despite prohibition being in force for so long”.

Sale and consumption of alcohol in the state was completely banned by the Nitish Kumar government in 2016.

Chirag, who is understood to have felt slighted by the Narendra Modi government recognizing the breakaway faction headed by Paras who has even been inducted into the Union cabinet was also asked about the possibility of an alliance with the RJD.

The son of late Ram Vilas Paswan had met, in Delhi, RJD national general secretary Shyam Rajak and is understood to have spoken over telephone to the party supremo Lalu Prasad and his heir apparent Tejashwi Yadav.

“I have said it earlier and would like to reiterate that it is only during elections that we can think in terms of alliances. Right now I am here to take forward my state-wide Ashirwad Yatra which has been a huge success, a fact noted by even my acquaintances in Delhi”, he replied.

The second term Jamui MPs attention was drawn towards barbs hurled by some JD(U) leaders who had questioned Chirags “reluctance” to visit his own parliamentary constituency.

“Tell the JD(U) men not to worry. I will soon be there”, said the 38 years old former Bollywood actor, with his trademark swagger.

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