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Sakshi Maharaj blames Muslims for population boom, BJP distances itself

Meerut: BJP leader Sakshi Maharaj waded into a controversy on Saturday 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 Friday

“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 judgment.

“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.

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.

The BJP MP said as he was a ‘sanyasi’ there was no question of having kids.

“As far as I am concerned, we are four brother and all of us are sanyasis. So, there is no question of having kids. We should be rewarded but we are being criticized,” he said.

“The event where I said all this was a sant sammelan where there was no BJP worker nor any other party worker. We were just deliberating among ourselves. Can’t I even talk to my own family,” he said.

Asked about the feud in the Samajwadi Party, Maharaj said, “The parties which were creating tension between Hindus and Muslims are now themselves on the verge of a split.”

On the Ram Mandir issue, he said, “Ram Mandir is not an issue for BJP, it is a matter related to ‘sadhus’ (sages). It was never an issue for BJP and the party will not ask for votes in the name of Ram Mandir.”

He said there can be three types of decisions on the Ram Mandir issue. “Either it will be implemented as per Supreme Court’s order or the decision will be taken with Parliament’s consensus. The third option is that Muslims adopt a flexible approach on the matter,” he said.

The BJP MP claimed that money generated from the imports of cow is used to fund terrorism.

“The Hindus need to be at the forefront of the issue and contribute to the ‘gaushalas’ so as to save the cows,” he said.

On the BJP’s chief ministerial candidate for UP, he said the party is run by its cadres and there is no dearth of able candidates.

“The Party parliamentary board will soon decide on who will be the party’s face for the assembly elections. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the party’s most prominent face,” he added.

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