Sakshi Maharaj blames Muslims for growing population ahead of UP polls
Sakshi Maharaj�s anti-Muslim remark comes days after the Supreme Court banned seeking votes in the name of religion, race, caste, community or language.
Sakshi Maharaj, the controversial BJP MP from Unnao, blamed Muslims for skewing the population growth rate by producing more children. The MP made the remarks on Friday ahead of the 7-phase polls in Uttar Pradesh. The BJP distanced itself from the MP's remark.
At a public event in Meerut, Sakshi Maharaj said population has risen due to those who supported the concept of four wives and 40 children. "This population rise is not because of the Hindus. Population has risen due to those who support the concept of four wives and 40 children,” the MP was quoted by The Indian Express as saying.
“Mothers aren’t just birth-giving machines. A mother, Hindu or Muslim, should be respected,” he added.
Sakshi Maharaj's remark comes days after the Supreme Court banned seeking votes in the name of religion, race, caste, community or language.
Responding to the BJP leader’s comment, Congress leader KC Mittal said the party will move the Election Commission to formally request action against the leader, ANI reported.
“Sakshi Maharaj’s speech based on caste and religion is very offensive. It's a violation of the model code of conduct and the recent Supreme Court judgement,” Mittal told the news agency.
When contacted by CNN-News18, Sakshi Maharaj defended his remarks saying he did not comment on any specific community as he had not named any. "I have not commented on any community. I have been misquoted and am ready to face Election Commission," the BJP leader was quoted by the news channel as saying.
Reports said UP Chief Election Officer has sought a report from District Magistrate of Meerut on Sakshi Maharaj's comment.
Minister of State for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, also the BJP vice-president, said the party did not share the views expressed by the Unnao MP.
This is almost textbook practice for the BJP. One of its vocal leaders shoots off a statement which is bound to heighten polarisation on religious lines when an election is nearby. Subsequently, a senior leader douses the anti-minorities nature of the party which by then has signalled to its partymen that Muslim baiting is allowed. The first phase of voting in the UP Assembly election is on February 11. The results for UP, Punjab, Goa, Manipur and Uttarakhand will be out on March 11.