NEW DELHI: After a pause of around six months, the saffron loud-mouths again kicked up a storm, with the BJP Lok Sabha MP from Unnao constituency in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh, Sakshi Maharaj, apparently accusing a community for the population explosion in the country. Even while Maharaj has been booked by local authorities for violation of the model code of conduct, the BJP has distanced itself from the controversial remark.
Maharaj, known for controversial remarks targeted at the minority community, had been lying low for a while, after Prime Minister Narendra Modi publicly scorned leaders of BJP for making loose comments.
Speaking at a ‘Sant sammelan’ in Meerut in UP, Maharaj reportedly claimed: “Those with four wives and 40 children are responsible for the population increase in the country. Hindus are not responsible. Strict laws are required to curb population (growth). Parties need to rise above politics and take decisions for the country.”
The controversial remark also came within a few days of the Supreme Court making it illegal to seek votes in the name of religion or caste. The Election Commission also sought a report from the Meerut district administration.
However, the Union Minister of State for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said Maharaj’s statement was not the view of the party. “I haven’t seen his statement, but we believe in taking everyone along. The country runs on law, on (the) Constitution, it does not run with (a) stick. Such statements or views are not of either BJP or government. We’ve nothing to do with such statements,” said Naqvi.
Maharaj later clarified that he had not been speaking at a BJP event. “I had said that the population of India is approximately 132 crore. We should respect women and I had said that she (a woman) is not a machine; that is why 40 wives, 40 kids and triple talaq are no longer tolerable,” Maharaj stated. Naqvi, meanwhile, stated that “it is wrong to perceive his statement as that of the BJP”.