The remarks two days after the Model Code of Conduct came into effect in poll bound Uttar Pradesh.
Lucknow: Two days after the poll dates were announced in Uttar Pradesh, BJP MP and religious leader Sakshi Maharaj on Saturday triggered a fresh row by insinuating that the Muslim community was responsible for the population boom in the country.
According to reports, he made the provocative remarks when he was speaking at the inauguration function of a temple in Meerut.
"This population rise in not because of the Hindus. Population has risen due to those who support the concept of four wives and 40 children," he reportedly said. But later went on to deny that he had said anything of that sort.
Coming under Opposition fire, the BJP also distanced itself from the comments, claiming that the party had nothing to do with the views expressed by the leader.
“This shouldn't be seen as BJP's stand,” Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said.
Condemning the party for the offensive remarks, the Congress said that they would bring the issue to Election Commission’s notice.
Congress leader KC Mittal told ANI, “Sakshi Maharaj’s speech based on caste and religion is very offensive. Its a violation of the MCC and the recent Supreme Court judgement” adding that the party will move EC to formally request action against the leader. The BJP however distanced itself from the MP’s remarks with union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi saying it shouldn’t be seen as a stand of the party.
Jumping the bandwagon, the Samajwadi Party also slammed the BJP, highlighting the Supreme Court's ruling on the same.
Sakshi Maharaj, a BJP MP from UP’s Unnao, had earlier in 2015 called for Hindu women to bear 4 children each. His remarks had sparked condemnation from Opposition which alleged that the ruling party was trying to polarise society.