Govt favours incentives for family planning

Last Updated 12 September 2009, 11:21 IST

"Population control is not a religious issue. It's a social issue for the entire country", BJP leader M Venkaiah Naidu told reporters in Bangalore. Earlier this week, Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa, fresh from his China visit, favoured a two-child norm and denying government facilities and benefits to families with more than two children and called for a debate.

Welcoming Yeddyurappa's initiative, Naidu suggested giving incentives to those who follow family planning "so that others also follow the same". Stressing that population control was a "very, very important issue", he said cutting across party lines, people should frankly and openly discuss it and come out with meaningful and practical suggestions in the larger interest of the people.

On the church attack near Bangalore on Thursday, he said such things are condemnable, but deplored attempts to overplay it and create unnecessary apprehension in the minds of people.

If an attack on places of worship happen in other states ruled by other parties, people dismiss it saying these things keep happening. But when it happens in BJP-ruled states, it becomes banner headline, he said.

On Congress Ministers having been reportedly asked to fly in economy class by the party leadership as part of austerity measures, Naidu said while this was welcome, he wondered if the government wanted to reduce spending elsewhere. If one had to maintain austerity, the first thing to do was to stop issuing advertisements in newspapers, Naidu said.

He accused the Congress of delaying assembly elections in Jharkhand fearing defeat.
"Haryana elections were due next year but because of political considerations, the House was dissolved and elections were advanced whereas in Jharkhand there is no government practically for the last three years...", he said.

On Governor H R Bhardwaj's reported comment on the law and order situation in Karnataka, Naidu said he did not know if he had indeed made that statement. "If he had made a categorical statement, then it's wrong.... then I can say the Governor is not impartial", he said, adding, it was not the Governor's duty to make political comments and about government's functioning.

Naidu expressed hope that the Governor, a former Union Law Minister, would go by the Constitution and not get into unnecessary controversy.

(Published 12 September 2009, 11:21 IST)

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