Election Commission expresses disapproval over Sakshi Maharaj’s comments

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NEW DELHI — The Election Commission of India on Wednesday censured Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Sakshi Maharaj for violating the Model Code of Conduct and the Supreme Court’s decision not to seek votes in the name of religion.

The Election Commission in its letter issued to Maharaj said that he being a reputed political leader/MP is expected to be more circumspect in his public utterances during the upcoming assembly elections.

The Election Commission also issued a stern warning to the BJP MP, saying stern action would be taken in case of any violation of the Model Code of Conduct in future.

The BJP MP, who drew flak from all quarters over his recent unwarranted remarks, on Wednesday asserted that his comments on population control were not meant to target any particular community.

The Lok Sabha MP from Unnao, who was summoned by the Election Commission over his alleged communal remark, said that his intention was to spread awareness in connection with the increasing population.

“I was speaking at a programme organised for saints, it was not a political rally. I didn’t take any community’s name. The increasing population is a major problem in our country. I just said that we need to control population and the same I have reiterated in front of the Election Commission,” said Maharaj after appearing before the Election Commission.

“I didn’t make any wrong statement, didn’t name any community. Population must be controlled, there should be a strong law for population control, women are not machines to deliver babies,” he added.

The BJP MP was earlier on Tuesday issued a notice by the Election Commission over his comments that appeared to blame the Muslim community for India’s population growth.

Addressing a gathering in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh, last week, Maharaj had urged all political parties to come together to frame “population control” laws.

“This population rise is not because of Hindus. The population has risen because of those who support the concept of four wives and 40 children. It is not acceptable,” he said.

The BJP lawmaker’s comments also drew flak from the Congress and other political parties who accused him of fanning communal tension ahead of the crucial Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls.

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