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No ‘nasbandi’, says Varun Gandhi


London : Varun Gandhi, the Bharatiya Janata Party candidate for the Lok Sabha polls from the most-populated Uttar Pradesh, says he wants to control India’s population by a “softer approach” than the one adopted by his father more than three decades ago.

Varun Gandhi told the Daily Telegraph that population control methods used by the Congress government in the mid-1970s were “roughshod” and considered by many to be “too forceful”.

He still believed India’s population “explosion” required urgent action, but supports a softer approach of financial incentives to persuade Indians to have fewer children, the British newspaper said.

Varun’s father late Sanjay Gandhi was criticised for the way he handled the government’s population control programme, accused of forcing many men to undergo sterilisation operations.

The Hindi word for sterilisation, ‘nasbandi’, has become virtually synonymous with forced population control programmes.