Assam’s Himanta Biswa Sarma. (ANI)

Assam CM to meet 150 Muslim intellectuals today

New Delhi: Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Sunday will meet around 150 intellectuals from the Muslim community in Guwahati to hold discussions on population control policy.

The meeting is believed to be one of the biggest outreach programs for the minority community in Assam.

Briefing media persons in Delhi, the chief minister said, “Tomorrow I am going to meet 150 Muslim intellectuals. During the last month, I met both factions of the All Assam Minority Students’ Union. Everybody has said that population is a problem and we need to resolve it. In Assam, there is no controversy.”

“Now, if they (people outside Assam) do not understand the seriousness of the situation and they create controversy merely because a BJP chief minister has said this. So this cannot be a controversy. People should welcome if somebody is trying to eradicate poverty and illiteracy among minority people,” Sarma added.

Earlier, in view of the new ‘population norms’ in Assam, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Tuesday had said that the two-child policy is the only way to eradicate poverty and illiteracy in the Muslim community in the state and there is no resistance from the minority community regarding the same.

Sarma on June 18 had announced the gradual implementation of the two-child policy for availing government benefits in Assam. However, tea garden workers and members of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe communities have been exempted from its purview.

“We will gradually incorporate a two-child policy for availing government benefits. You can consider this an announcement,” the Chief Minister had said.

Mentioning that the new population norms would affect the eligibility for government benefits, including waiver of loans, Sarma had said, “Be it loan waiver or other government schemes, population norms will be taken into account. It won’t be applicable to tea garden workers and the SC-ST community.”

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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