Bharatiya Janata Party MP Kirodi Lal Meena on Friday emphasised the need for a population control Bill during the ongoing Winter Session of the Parliament, claiming that population explosion was the root cause of poverty, diseases, malnutrition and pollution.

“The demand for food products was increasing because of the population explosion,” he said. “On the other hand, their supply is reducing. This is giving rise to adulteration, which is harming people’s health. Cases of serious diseases like cancer are increasing.”

Meena also said that the population explosion has created gender gaps with women not getting “equal respect and rights”.

In this light, the MP said that a population control Bill was necessary as its absence would prove difficult for the “Aatmanirbhar Bharat”, or self-reliant India campaign to succeed.

Meena’s demand for population control law comes at a time when India’s total fertility rate has reduced to 2 from 2.2 in five years, according to the National Family Health Survey released in November. The total fertility rate is the average number of children a woman gives birth to in her lifetime.

India’s fertility rate has fallen below replacement level total fertility rate of 2.1 for the first time.

The Population Foundation of India, a non-government organisation advocating for gender-sensitive population, health and development policies, had said that the findings of the National Family Health Survey busted the “myth of population explosion”, The Indian Express reported.

“They show that India must steer away from coercive measures of population control,” the NGO said.

But, this is not the first time that a BJP leader has pressed for measures to control the population.

In July, Uttar Pradesh’s law commission had come out with the Uttar Pradesh Population (Control, Stabilisation and Welfare) Bill, 2021. The draft document included a provision to deny government jobs and promotions to those who produce more than two children after the population control law is passed.