While replying to a question by Suresh Kumar Khanna of BJP on population control policy of the state government, Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Shankh Lal Majhi said that the state policy was launched in 2000 on the lines of the national policy.

"As per the state policy, the birth rate by 2016 has to be brought down to 2.1 which stood at 3.4 (per couple) in 2011," the minister said, adding that in 2012 it came down to 3.3 and in 2013 to 3.2 (per couple).

Though the fall of 0.1 looks very meagre but when translated to the number of children it is quite impressive, he said.

Going by the present rate, the population of the state will rise to 45 crore in the next 20 to 25 years, he said.

He stressed the need to control population growth, adding, that the rate at which population is growing will affect all development works.

Meanwhile, Leader of Opposition Swami Prasad Maurya asked whether government will take effective action against sadhus and sadhvis associated with a political party asking people to bear four to eight children, apparently referring to BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj's remark that every Hindu woman should bear four children.

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