Election commission censures parliamentarian’s population remark

January 12, 2017 by  
Filed under newsletter-india

New Delhi, January 12, 2017: The Election Commission of India on January 12 censured Sakshi Maharaj, a Member of Parliament, for his remark indirectly blaming Muslims for the population growth in the country.

The commission also threatened to take stern action against the member of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) if he violates the model code again.

The election watchdog had earlier sought responses from Mahararaj, who represents Unnao, a parliamentary constituency in Uttar Pradesh, for violating the model code of conduct with his remarks.

Uttar Pradesh is among five states that will elect their legislative assemblies in February. The commission had announced the elections on January 4.

Maharaj made the controversial remarks two days later at a meeting of Hindu sages in Meerut, a town in western Uttar Pradesh.

Speaking in Hindi, he said; “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.”

The remarks came days after the Supreme Court barred political parties and candidates from seeking votes in the name of religion or caste, the Press Trust of India reported.

The poll watchdog said it found the MP’s reply unsatisfactory. It reiterated that any statement that promotes enmity between different classes of society in connection with election on the grounds of religion made during electioneering violated the model code.

The code came into force the commission announced the assembly polls in Goa, Manipur, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh.

Maharaj had told the commission that the statement was not made in a public or an election meeting but at a saints’ conclave and hence did not violate the code.

The commission had earlier issued a notice to the MP asking why action should not be taken against him for his controversial statement.

Earlier on January 7, the police in Meerut police filed a First Information Report against Maharaj under Indian Penal Code sections that deals with maintaining sectarian harmony.

– matters india

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