Varun kicks up another row

Varun kicks up another row

BJP candidate reportedly favoured forced sterilisation policy

Varun kicks up  another row

The BJP’s candidate from Pilibhit told ‘The Telegraph’ daily that he would propose a bill in Parliament to introduce compulsory military service for all Indians to unite the country and overcome caste and religious differences.

During the interview, the 29-year-old Varun said the country has been lacking a strong leadership for 20 years.

The newspaper correspondent, who talked to him during his election tour of Pilibhit, wrote that Gandhi has vowed to revive the controversial population control policies pioneered by his father.

Politics, Varun said, was his destiny, and added: “Anyone who says they have no ambition to achieve power at some stage is lying.”

“Instead of people thinking of themselves as Tamils or Brahmins, they should think of themselves as Indians,” he said.

Referring to his recent controversial remarks, Varun denied threatening Muslims, but had vowed to protect local people from “anti-social” elements after three local girls were reportedly gang-raped.

However, clarifying his report, Dean Nelson, the South Asia correspondent of the paper, told a television channel in Delhi that Gandhi did not want a return to the heavy-handed methods that were carried out by the government at that time (during the Emergency).
Gandhi was talking about using carrot rather than stick by offering incentives to the families to have fewer children.

The Bharatiya Janata Party distanced itself from Varun’s reported remarks favouring forced sterilisation.

BJP spokesperson Siddharth Nath Singh said in New Delhi: “It’s his personal view. As far as the BJP is concerned, we promote family planning but not by forceful means. That (forced sterilisation) is not a part of our policy.”

Senior BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad later said at a press conference: “I have not seen the interview. We (BJP) are in favour of family planning, not forced sterilisation.”
Varun’s denial
Later on Saturday night Varun himself denied having made a statement in favour of forced sterilisation.
In fact, he had broadly favoured “a sensible family planning programme” through education, awareness and positive incentives, he said in the statement.

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