UNNAO, Uttar Pradesh — Known for making controversial statements, BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj has demanded that a strict law for family planning be brought in for all to check population growth and those who do not follow it should be stripped of their right to vote.
"When Hindus go for sterilisation, Muslims should also opt for it. There should be one law for everyone. There will be no appeasement of any section in our regime," he said on the sidelines of a function here. "I don't say Muslims and Christians should be sterilised. But there should be family planning and a uniform law for all. When we talk of four-child issue, there is a lot of hue and cry, and when they have 40 children from four wives no one says anything," the saffron-robed MP said last evening.
Stressing that population growth was a major challenge before the country, he said the issue has to be addressed through family planning.
"There should be family planning. When the country gained independence, the population was only 30 crore. Today it is 130 crore. Who is responsible for it?...There should be one law for everyone be it Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs or Christians.
"Whether for one, two, three or four kids... unless we have a common law for everyone, the country will not benefit...So both the government and the opposition should come together to bring a strict law and those who do not follow it should be stripped of their voting right," the 59-year-old MP from Unnao said.
"You cannot discriminate between women of different communities," he said.
His remarks come after Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut in an editorial demanded scrapping of voting rights of Muslims, saying they are used as vote bank.
"Balasaheb had once said withdraw Muslims voting rights. Owaisi brothers are doing politics of Muslim votes. They are threat to the nation," wrote Raut in the party mouthpiece 'Saamana'.
Asked about Raut's statement, Sakshi Maharaj said he had not gone through his statement.
Sakshi was earlier at the centre of a controversy when he asked Hindu women to have at least four children, sparking condemnation from the opposition which alleged that the ruling party was trying to polarise the atmosphere.
BJP on its part had distanced itself from the remarks of Maharaj, who was also served a show cause notice, and urged its workers and public representatives to refrain from making such comments.
Sakshi had also drawn flak for describing Mahatma Gandhi's assassin Nathuram Godse as a "patriot" and was forced to apologise in Parliament.