Saturday, January 7, 2017
BJP MP promotes religious enmity
The Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of Uttar Pradesh has sought a report from the district administration on the allegedly communal remarks that BJP MP from Unnao, Sakshi Maharaj, made at a religious event in Meerut on Friday. Besides, the Meerut Police has lodged an FIR against the MP on charges of promoting enmity between groups on grounds of religion and caste.
Speaking at a sant sammelan in Meerut, Sakshi Maharaj 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 the growth of population. Hindus are not responsible for that. Those responsible are the ones who talk of four wives and 40 children.)” He also said that the money earned from cattle slaughter was being used to fund terrorism.
The BJP MP’s remarks come four days after the Supreme Court ruled that political parties and candidates can’t seek votes in the name of religion or caste and with a just over a month left for the first phase of polling in Uttar Pradesh on February 11.
UP Chief Electoral Officer T Venkatesh told The Indian Express, “A detailed report has been sought from the Meerut district administration after taking cognisance of the reports received through different media.” The CEO said he had also asked for a video of the BJP MP’s speech and details about the event where Maharaj made the alleged comment.
Meerut police said they had taken suo motu cognisance of the matter and lodged the FIR against the BJP MP and Dharamdaas, one of the organisers of the event.
“The FIR against BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj and one other has been filed under IPC sections 153B, 295A, 188, 505(3) and 298 for making derogatory remarks against a particular community and also for violation of the model code of conduct,” said Sadar Bazar police station SHO Pankaj Pant.
While the Opposition condemned Sakshi Maharaj’s remarks, the BJP sought to distance itself.
BJP UP general secretary Vijay Bahadur Pathak said that the Unnao MP’s statements are “neither the views of the ruling party nor of the NDA government at the Centre”.
However, Mohammad Abbas, Samajwadi Party state executive member from Meerut, said, “Sakshi Maharaj has made such a remark to hurt the sentiments of Muslims and with an aim to polarise the voters in the elections. His remark is in violation of the Model Code of Conduct and action should be taken against him.”