BJP leader Sakshi Maharaj today waded into controversy by indirectly blaming Muslims for the population boom in the country.
"Those with four wives and 40 children are responsible for the population increase in the country. Hindus are not responsible for the increase in population," he said addressing a 'sant sammelan' here yesterday.
"Strict laws are required in this country if we really want to curb population. Parties need to rise above politics and take decision for the sake of the country," the BJP MP from Unnao said.
The remarks drew criticism from opposition parties even as the Election Commission sought a report from the district administration of Meerut regarding the statement. The controversial remarks comes close on the heels of the Supreme Court making it clear that no person can seek votes in the name of religion and caste.
Flaying the comments, JD-U leader K C Tyagi termed them as the first major violation of the Supreme Court guidelines on use of religion in politics.
"Recently the Supreme Court and the Chief Election Commission laid down some guidelines for model code of conduct, including not to use religion, caste and language. This is the first major violation by a major political party that is BJP, by its MP. Now action must be taken by the party as well as the Election Commission against Sakshi Maharaj.
"They are making derogatory comments against one section of the society. This is violation of Model Code of Conduct to incite one section against another. And this is a criminal act," he said. Congress leader KC Mittal said Sakshi Maharaj's speech is "offensive" as it is based on caste and religion and goes against the recent Supreme Court judgement.
"It is a violation of the Model Code of Conduct and Congress is officially filing a complaint against him in the Election Commission," he said.
BJP distances itself
Asked about the comments, BJP leader and Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said, "I haven't seen his statement, but we believe in taking everyone along...Country runs on law, on Constitution, it does not run with stick.
"Such statements or views...are not of either BJP or government. We have nothing to do with such statements, he said.
Maharaj on his part made it clear that he was not speaking at a BJP event:
"I had said that the population of India is approx 132 crore. India's landmass is not increasing but our population keeps on increasing. We need to control this menace."
"We should respect women and I had said that she is not a machine, that is why 40 wives, 40 kids and triple talaq are no longer tolerable. We need to take a decision whether we should have one, two, three or four kids. But we need to take a decision on this," he said.
Feature Image Source: PTI