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BJP Lawmaker Sakshi Maharaj holds Muslims responsible for population growth, booked

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January 7, 2017, 10:10 pm

Sakshi Maharaj holds Muslims responsible for population growth, booked

Meerut police registered an FIR against Sakshi Maharaj after he held Muslims responsible for population growth.

New Delhi: A case has been registered against BJP lawmaker Sakshi Maharaj after he indirectly blamed Muslims for population growth in India. As the comments drew a storm of criticism, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) distanced itself from the comment saying neither the BJP, nor the government agrees with Sakshi Maharaj’s opinion.

Meerut police booked Sakshi Maharaj for ‘uttering, words with deliberate intent to wound the religious feelings of any person’ and deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class.

“The Hindu is not responsible for the population explosion (in India). It is those who keep four wives and produce 40 children…If Hindu numbers go down, the country will be divided,” said the lawmarker from Unnao. He was addressing an event in Meerut in Uttar Pradesh. The organizers have also been named in the FIR registered in this connection.

“This shouldn’t be seen as BJP’s stand,” Union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said.

Even after the comments created an outrage, Sakshi Maharaj defended them. “The population is increasing by the day. A woman is not a machine. It is not acceptable to have four wives, 40 children and three divorces… We should be rewarded as I have four brothers and we all are unmarried and we don’t have any children,” Sakshi Maharaj was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

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The comments have come at a time when the election fervor is at its peak in Uttar Pradesh. The Election Commission recently announced dates for assembly elections that will take place in seven phases from February 11 to March 8. The police will also investigate if the comments violated the Model Code of Conduct which is in effect since the announcement of the polling dates.

The Congress cried foul and said that the party will register a complaint with the Election Commission.

“The speech of Sakshi Maharaj based on religion and caste is very offensive and it violates the Model Code of Conduct. I feel action should be taken. We will definitely move the Election Commission,” Congress’ KC Mittal was quoted as saying ANI.

It is not for the first time that Sakshi Maharaj has hogged headlines due to his intemperate remarks. He kicked up controversy when he demanded death penalty in cases of cow slaughter last year. He had also said Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi was “mad” and compared Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Lord Krishna.

First published: January 7, 2017