BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj’s remarks that Hindu women should have at least four children to protect the religion have come under attack not just by the Opposition but his own party. The saffron robed MP seemed to have turned a deaf ear to prime minister Narendra Modi’s pleas to party members to focus on the government’s economic agenda. “The concept of four wives and 40 children just won’t work in India but it is high time that every Hindu woman must produce at least four children to protect the Hindu religion,” he had said addressing a gathering of saints on Tuesday. The BJP washed its hands of the comments and asked all its workers to refrain from making “unncessary” statements. “The remarks made by Sakshi Maharaj are his personal views. The BJP believes in good governance and development. The party urges all its workers to focus on the government’s pro-people agenda and try to refrain from making unnecessary statements,” BJP national secretary Shrikant Sharma said in a statement.Seeking to distance from Maharaj’s remark, BJP president Amit Shah said it was the former’s personal remark and not party’s stand. “It is his (Maharaj’s) own view .. his personal remark. it is not the stand of the party,” Shah told reporters while responding to a volley of questions at the end of his two-day visit to Odisha.Asked whether action would be taken against Maharaj for making such remark, the BJP president said it was for the disciplinary committee of the party to deal with the matter. Maharaj had also advocated death sentence for those indulging in conversion and cow slaugher. Controversy over “ghar wapsi” and comments by Hindutva hard liners had disrupted the government’s reform agenda, by giving the Opposition ammunition to unitedly confront the government in Parliament. Sakshi Maharaj’s remarks have again brought the Modi government in the Opposition’s line of fire. The Congress has again questioned the prime minister’s silence.“The Prime Minister has spoken on the most minute, micro issues, he has spoken eloquently, he has spoken on macro issues from New York to Australia, from Red Fort to Chhatisgarh and surely if he has no time to speak a few sentences or at least tweet,” Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said. He said the prime minister, finance minister and BJP president are silent. “If they are silent, what does it mean? … Is it that the BJP has changed the Population Policy of India without our knowledge. Is the Population Policy of India as against that of China, as against that of several other developing or transforming economies now going to be in the electoral slogan – ‘Ab ki baar, bacche char’ or is it going to be ‘Make in India + 4. The PM should clarify.” He said to look upon to treat women symbolically as child bearing structures was a complete insult to the power potential and capacity of about 50% of our population. —With agency inputs

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BJP distances itself from Sakshi Maharaj remark