Yoga guru Ramdev has once again called for punitive measures to control India’s population growth. At a press conference in Haridwar on Saturday, Ramdev said the government should enact a law taking away the voting rights of the third child in a family.

“India’s population should not be more than 150 crore in the next 50 years as we are not prepared or ready to bear more than that,” he claimed. “This is only possible when the government makes a law that third child would not be allowed to vote, neither contest election nor he or she enjoys any type of privileges and facilities given by the government.”

If such a law is enacted, people will not give birth to more children, “no matter which religion they belong to”, he added. Fears about an exponential growth in the population of Muslims is often used by many Hindutva hardliners to stoke fears, but it is not supported by facts.

In January, Ramdev had said the voting rights of those who have more than two children should be revoked.

Ramdev can be heard making the contentious remarks 9:07 onwards.

The yoga guru also called for a ban on cow slaughter and said it was the only way to reduce the conflict between cow smugglers and vigilantes from Hindutva outfits. “For those who want to eat meat, there are several other types of meat which they can eat,” he added.

Ramdev also called for prohibition across the country. “In Islamic countries, liquor is banned,” he said. “If in Islamic countries it can be banned then why not in India? This is the land of sages. There should be a complete ban on liquor in India.”