EC sends Sakshi Maharaj showcase notice for controversial remarks, seeks answer by Wednesday

The Election Commission (EC) on Tuesday issued a showcause notice to BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj for his controversial comments on population control. The election body sought a reply from the MP by 11 January, reported ANI.

The latest move comes after the Unnao MP on Saturday blamed Muslims for a sharp rise in population in the country when he said that Hindus are clearly not responsible for it and added, "Population is increased by those who support the concept of four wives and 40 children."

Leaving no doubt that he was speaking against the Muslim community, Maharaj also spoke against the practice of triple talaq and asked the government to implement Uniform Civil Code (UCC) as soon as possible, reported News18.

Sakshi Maharaj. Image courtesy: CNN-News18

Sakshi Maharaj. Image courtesy: CNN-News18

Sakshi also said that the country was being divided because Hindus were not having enough children. "Hindu ghataa aur desh bataa," he said. "Whether Hindu or Muslim, mothers are not machines," he added.

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. The country runs on law, on Constitution, it does not run with a stick. Such statements or views are not of either BJP or government. We have nothing to do with such statements."

Caught in the controversy at a time when elections in Uttar Pradesh and four other states are around the corner, an unfazed Maharaj 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 four 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.

As the outburst by the Unnao MP in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh drew strong condemnation from opposition parties, the BJP distanced itself from the comments made at a sant sammelan on Friday.

An FIR was filed against the controversial leader at Sadar Bazar police station in Meerut.

The FIR was registered under Indian Penal Code sections 298 (uttering words 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, police said.

The EC too sought a report from the Meerut administration in connection with Sakshi Maharaj's statement, the office of the Chief Electoral Officer in Lucknow said. The Meerut district administration said ADM, Meerut and city magistrate are investigating the matter from all aspects.

"We have got information about few comments during the sant sammelan held at Augharnath Temple here through various newspapers. We have sought reports on it from Election Commission. ADM city and city magistrate are investigating the matter from all aspects. We will take prompt action according to law if we find anything," district magistrate B Chandrakala said.


With inputs from PTI

Published Date: Jan 10, 2017 10:31 AM | Updated Date: Jan 10, 2017 10:32 AM

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