New Delhi: Some politicians feel shy about promoting the idea of family planning because of a belief that population control may lead to “vote control", Vice president M. Venkaiah Naidu said on Tuesday.

Calling for a debate and a broad political consensus on the issue of birth control, he also stressed the need for incentives to encourage the people to adopt family planning measures.

“...Somehow, our politicians are also feeling a little shy about cooperation (in) family planning. Population control means votes control ho jayega, aisa bhi kuch logon ka maanna hai (Some people believe that population control may also lead to vote control)," the vice president said at an event to launch the ‘India state-level disease burden’ report.

Health minister J.P. Nadda was present at the event. Naidu also stressed the need to educate people on preventive measures to check diseases, and said lifestyles had to change for better health.

This, he said, was particularly important for children who remained glued to television, cinema and the social media.

Naidu emphasised that people should be educated on the benefits of family planning. He also said many health indicators in India were poorer than those of other countries which were at a similar level of development.

This implied that while significant health improvements had taken place in India, it could do better. In a word of advice to doctors, he said they should consider the “humanitarian way" of treating patients and build a healthy nation.

He called for a greater interaction between doctors and patients where physical check-ups had a bigger role to play than hi-tech tests.

Before Naidu was to address the audience, one of the organisers introduced him as a former BJP president and a former union minister.

Naidu said he had now retired from politics and “has nothing to do with BJP, but with JP". He was referring to minister J.P. Nadda, who Naidu said had done a great job in public life.