New Delhi, May 9 (IANS) The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has distanced itself from its Lok Sabha candidate Varun Gandhi's reported remarks favouring forced sterilisation.
Varun Gandhi says he wants to revive his late father's controversial population control policies, the Daily Telegraph of London reported Saturday.
But BJP spokesperson Siddharth Nath Singh said here: 'It's his personal view. As far as the BJP is concerned, we promote family planning but not by forceful means. That (forced sterilisation) is not a part of our policy.'
Senior BJP Spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad later said at a press conference: 'I have not seen the interview. We (BJP) are in favour of family planning, not forced sterilisation.'
The newspaper said Varun Gandhi, the son of Sanjay Gandhi and grandson of late prime minister Indira Gandhi, had told the paper in an interview that he also wanted to introduce conscription in India in order to unite the country.
The paper did not publish a direct quote on Varun Gandhi's reported pledge to revive population control policies that were implemented by Sanjay Gandhi in the 1970s, in some cases by force.
Varun Gandhi told the paper he hoped to follow in his father's footsteps by one day offering the strong leadership which he said India had lacked for 20 years.
'Anyone who says they have no ambition to achieve power at some stage is lying,' he said.
Varun Gandhi is the party's candidate for the Pilibhit Lok Sabha constituency that goes to polls Wednesday.
He earlier courted controversy with his hate speeches for which he was jailed by the Uttar Pradesh government.
Read More: Pilibhit