Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma stated that Assam would have a ‘population army’ to distribute contraceptives and create awareness about population control in the Muslim-dominated areas. The Chief Minister added, “If population growth among Hindus in Assam was 10 per cent from 2001 to 2011, it was 29 per cent among Muslims.”
About the ‘population army,’ the CM said that this would constitute around 1,000 youths from Char-Chapori areas that will help create awareness on population control measures and supply contraceptives in muslim dominated areas of lower Assam. The CM said that the government is also planning to form a new task force of ASHA (accredited social health activists) who will also be inducted into creating awareness and supplying contraceptives.
The CM said, “Owing to a smaller population, lifestyle of Hindus in Assam has become better, with spacious houses and vehicles, and children becoming doctors and engineers.” According to him, the population explosion in the state has been driven by the minority, and he has been trying to promote counter-measures for it. Voluntary sterilization and enforcement of the two-child limit in state-run welfare schemes are part of these measures.
He said in the assembly that, “The people of Upper Assam will not relate to the struggles that western and central Assam people face due to the burden of higher population.” However, it should also be noted that the CM’s population control has triggered an outrage in the opposition and has led to similar attempts from Uttar Pradesh, another BJP-ruled state.