The BJP's showcause notice to its MP Sakshi Maharaj is also meant to serve as a warning to party leaders and workers to choose their words carefully, sources have said.
The BJP's notice to its lawmaker Sakshi Maharaj for his most recent controversial comments is also meant to serve as a warning to party leaders and workers to choose their words carefully, sources have said.
The party has asked the 59-year-old Lok Sabha MP from Uttar Pradesh to meet BJP chief Amit Shah and explain why he said at a public meeting last week that Hindu women should "give birth to four children to protect the Hindu religion."
On Tuesday, a BJP leader in Bengal suggested that they must in fact "give birth to five children each."
While such comments have made the ruling party vulnerable to the opposition's criticism, the BJP leadership fears that it is also detracting from its primary agenda of development and reforms.
Now, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad - an affiliate of the BJP's ideological mentor, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh or RSS - plans to hold what it calls a "Virat Hindu Sammelan," at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, in the heart of the national capital, on March 1.
The VHP has said that its meet will be attended by a lakh people, including some top RSS members. There, VHP leaders are likely to raise contentious issues like "religious conversions," over which opposition parties attacked the BJP and disrupted Parliament for days, not allowing the government to push legislation for key reforms.
The date the VHP has chosen for its meet is around the time that the Narendra Modi government will present its first full Budget and its roadmap for economic revival.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who is prepping to present a Budget that the world will be watching, had recently said in an interview to NDTV that he would prefer if the headlines were about the government's economic reforms, instead of being hogged by controversial remarks.
The Congress' Abhishek Manu Singhvi said today, "Sakshi Maharaj is symbolic of the politics of division and communalism in this country being practiced by the BJP. There are many many Sakshi Maharajs in the BJP and it is imperative for the Prime Minister, no less, to issue a strong condemnation. His silence continues to be eloquent."
Prime Minister Modi had reportedly asked party MPs at a recent meeting not to cross the "lakshman rekha" with their public comments.