Thursday, August 5, 2021

Is Himanta Biswa Sarma seeking to Congressise the BJP? | Advocate Upamanyu Hazarika opposes CM’s remark on birth control

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Guwahati, June 12 (NKTV): Senior Advocate Upamanyu Hazarika has recently come out against Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma asking “Is Himanta Biswa Sarma seeking to Congressise the BJP?”, while opposing the CM’s recent remark on population control.

Hazarika opposed the Chief Minister’s view expressed in the press conference given on the completion of 30 days of the second BJP Government that the primary reason for population explosion in Assam is uncontrolled birth by migrant Muslim community members and the absence of family planning.

The CM had also said that eviction operation of encroachers belonging to this community would not resolve the issue, the primary requirement being birth control.

“The Chief Minister’s view suggests that migration and illegal infiltration from Bangladesh is not the primary cause for demographic changes, rather it is the lack of birth control measures. This statement coming at this point is very strange and contrary to facts. If birth control were the sole means to restrict population growth, there was no need for the Assam movement or even NRC as well” said Upamanyu Hazarika in a statement.

“The statement is factually erroneous for for two reasons. Firstly, over the last 30 years, the Congress and BJP governments have given details from the floor of the legislature of the number of illegal infiltrators from Bangladesh into Assam. If Late Hiteshwar Saikia, the then Chief Minister of Assam, in 1992 gave a figure of 32 lakhs, Union Minister Prakash Jaiswal gave a figure of 50 lakhs. Kiren Rijiju, Minister of State for Home in the first NDA Government, gave a figure of 80 lakhs infiltrators from Bangladesh in Assam in November, 2016. This number has been consistently 25% of Assam’s population. The Supreme Court in its judgement in December, 2014 in the case of Assam Sanmilita Mahasangha, reiterated the figure of 50 lakhs given by the UPA government. Coincidently, Himanta Biswa Sarma has been a member of all the ruling parties. Why did he not then question these figures at that time? Secondly, it has been found in a study by Prof Nandita Saikia of Jawaharlal Nehru University that even a higher fertility rate could not be the basis for increase in the population of migrant Muslims from Bangladesh, most of it due to infiltration. The stand taken by the Chief Minister is also the stand taken by representatives of migrant Muslim from Bangladesh who seek to attribute their population explosion to higher fertility rate and not due to migration. In fact, a national daily from Delhi today has published a news item rebutting the CM’s claim based on Union Health Ministry figures that the net fertility rate amongst migrant Muslim women in Assam has declined from 3.6 to 2.4” Hazarika added.

“It is relevant that the explanation trotted out by the Chief Minister is the same as given by Late Tarun Gogoi, former Chief Minister of Assam, in an interview given on September 10, 2012 where he stated that the demographic change in Assam is due to higher birth-rate among migrant Muslims and not due to infiltration. What is the purpose of the newly installed CM to make these kinds of statements? If last week, he had debunked the Clause 6 committee report submitted by a committee appointed by the earlier government of which he was a part and then make a big announcement of all encroachers being evicted and back tracked now by saying that eviction is not the answer said Hazarika asking “By mirroring the opinion of Shri Tarun Gogoi, is he seeking to Congressise the BJP?”.

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