Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma will interact with intellectuals from the Muslim community in Assam tomorrow on the need for a two-child policy.
Mr Sarma, who took charge as chief minister in May, has been advocating a two-child norm for the Muslim community in the state, arguing that it will help ensure proper allocation of resources and tackle poverty in the community.
In an official release the state government stated, “An interactive session, ‘Alaap Aru Alochana’ (meaning talks and discussion) by the Chief Minister with intellectuals and leading persons of minority community will be held on Sunday at Assam Administrative Staff College, Khanapara.”
Chandra Mohan Patowary, state Minister for Welfare of Minorities, will also be present at the interactive session.
Mr Sarma had said in an earlier meeting that Muslims account for 34 per cent of the 3.12 crore population of Assam, and that 4 per cent of the Muslims in the state are Assamese Muslims while the remaining are mostly Bengali-speaking Muslims.
The BJP-led government in Assam had earlier proposed formation of a development board for indigenious Muslims communities Goria, Moria, Deshi and Jolah.
Responding to a query on eviction drives in the state, the Chief Minister said last month that unless Assam adopts a two-child policy, especially for the minority community, it will always have a dearth of land, job and other opportunities.
This had evoked criticism from the opposition in the state.
To a question on the responses to his proposal, he told mediapersons, “I haven’t received any reactions from Muslim people. Infact, the two factions of All Assam Minority Students Union have met me twice in the last one month and openly welcomed (the proposal) acknowledging that Muslim population in Assam needs population control measures.”
“I am meeting a lot of Muslim intellectuals in July and I am sure that they will support state government’s policies as this is the only way through which poverty and illiteracy can be eradicated from among the Muslim minorities of Assam,” he had said.
“I will have intensive discussion with various socio-political organisations of Muslim community. This is for the welfare of Muslim community and I do not think that there is any resistance to it,” he had added.