BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj, who wants all Hindu women to have four children, has stoked a fresh controversy by saying those who refuse birth control methods should not be allowed to vote.
In an apparent reference to the Muslim minority, the lawmaker from Unnao in Madhya Pradesh said: “There are communities that do not adopt family planning methods. They should be deprived of voting rights.”
“At the time of independence we were 30 crore, now we are exploding population-wise,” he said on the sideline of a news conference by minister of state for tourism Mahesh Sharma in Unnao on Sunday.
He said the politics of appeasement had ruined the country. Reservation on the basis of caste and scholarships given to girls of a particular community were both wrong, he claimed.
“You cannot discriminate between the girls of different communities,” he said.
Maharaj defended his comments despite criticism from opposition parties, saying: “Hum char bache ki baat keh de toh aag lag jaati hai, par char biwi chaalis bache se kahin aag nahi lagti (There is a fire when we speak about people having four children, but there is no fire over people who have four wives and forty children).”
The controversial MP had in January called on Hindu women to have four children to ensure that the country’s demography is not changed.
Maharaj also endorsed Shiv Sena Sanjay Raut’s stand that the voting rights of Muslims should be revoked for some years to ensure the community is not used for to vote bank politics.
“Tushtikaran ke aadhaar par desh mai rajneeti nahi honi chahiye (There should not be politics based on appeasement),” he said regarding Raut's remarks.
However, Maharaj’s remarks drew sharp criticism from opponents, who sought action against him.
Samajwadi Party MLA Irfan Solanki criticised Maharaj and said: “He has the one-point agenda of driving a wedge between communities. We will demand the government initiate action against him.”