An FIR has been filed against controversial Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Sakshi Maharaj on Saturday for his remark on population control. Earlier on Friday in Meerut, Sakshi, in a veiled attack on the Muslim community, blamed them for the population explosion in the country.
He said, "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. He added, "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,” he added.
The FIR was registered under IPC sections 298 (Uttering, words, etc., with deliberate intent to wound the religious feelings of any person), 188 (Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), 295A (Deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class) and 153b (Imputations, assertions prejudicial to national-integration) among others.
The Uttar Pradesh Election Commission also took notice of his controversial remarks and summoned a report from the administration in Meerut where the leader made the remarks while speaking at a religious function on Friday. "The commission has sought a report from the Meerut administration in connection with the statement issued by Sakshi Maharaj yesterday,” the Chief Electoral Officer in Lucknow said. As per the norm, the district administration needs to submit a report to the EC in connection with the statement.
As the outburst by the MP from Unnao in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh drew strong condemnation from opposition parties, the BJP distanced itself from the comments made at a 'sant sammelan' here yesterday. Senior party leader and Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said, "This should not be seen as the view of the party."
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.
Condemning the comments, JD-U leader K C Tyagi termed them as the first major violation of the Supreme Court guidelines outlined on Monday 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.
Sakshi Maharaj faces eight other criminal cases, including for murder, promoting enmity between groups, criminal conspiracy and defiling places of worship.