THE ELECTION Commission (EC) on Thursday censured BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj for his remarks purportedly blaming Muslims for the rise in population, and warned him of “stern action” in case he violates the model code of conduct (MCC) again.Speaking at a religious event in Meerut last week, the BJP MP had said, “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 population growth. Hindus are not responsible for that. Those responsible are the ones who talk of four wives and 40 children.)”
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He had also claimed that the money earned from cattle slaughter was being used to fund terrorism. Maharaj had made the “anti-Muslim” remarks less than a week after the Supreme Court passed its order barring candidates from seeking votes on caste and religious lines.
After complaints were lodged against him, the EC had issued a showcause notice to Maharaj on Tuesday. In his response to the EC notice, Sakshi stood by his remarks, arguing that they were made at a religious event and not during an election campaign and therefore did not violate the poll code.
The EC, however, did not find the reply satisfactory. “In the Commission’s considered view, supported by observations of the Supreme Court, 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.
“You may also take a note that in case of any violation of the MCC in future, the Commission shall take stern actions against you, using all the powers available to it,” the EC order stated. An FIR has already been lodged against the BJP MP from Unnao under IPC sections 153B, 295A, 188, 505(3) and 298 for making derogatory remarks against a particular community.