Election Commission censures Sakshi Maharaj over his population boom remarks, issues warning
Bharatiya Janata Party MP Sakshi Maharaj, who last week blamed Muslims for population boom, was on today censured by the Election Commission, but has been let off with a warning.
The Commission held that the MP’s remarks that ‘those who talk of four wives and 40 children are responsible for population problem’ were a clear cut violation of the Model Code of Conduct. EC rejected Sakshi Maharaj ‘s contention that the statements were not in a public or election meeting, and as such did not come in the ambit of the poll code.
"The Commission has considered your reply and has not found it satisfactory. Any statement to the effect of promoting enmity between different classes of society in connection with election on the grounds of religion made during electioneering or otherwise is violative of MCC," the poll panel said.
Censuring Sakshi Maharaj, the Commission warned him of stern action for any further violation of the MCC.
Addressing a gathering of seers in Meerut, the BJP leader indirectly held the Muslims responsible for the population explosion.
"Desh mein samasyaein khadi ho rahi hain jansankhya ke karan. Uske liye Hindu zimmedar nahin hain Zimmedar toh wo hain jo chaar biwion aur chalees bachchon ki baatein karte hain." (There are problems in the country because of the growth of population. Hindus are not responsible for that. Those responsible are the ones who talk of four wives and 40 children),” he had said in January 6 address.
The Commission notice said prima facie he has violated the model code which came into force on January 4 following announcement of assembly polls in five states, including Uttar Pradesh.
Besides the poll panel notice, the Meerut police also registered a case against him for several offenses.
The Lok Sabha member from Unnao in UP has repeatedly defended his remarks, claiming that he did not name any religious community.
"Whatever I said was not at a public meeting or an election rally. I spoke at a meeting called by religious leaders," Maharaj said after coming out of the ECI headquarters yesterday.
Maharaj said "I didn't take the name of any religion or community, but only raised concerns over rising population. Population must be controlled, women are not machines to deliver babies."