BJP lawmaker Sakshi Maharaj
BJP lawmaker Sakshi Maharaj has denied receiving any showcause notice by the party in response to his recent controversial comments.
"I have not received any notice. If I receive a notice I shall reply to it," the 58-year-old Lok Sabha MP from Uttar Pradesh said today.
"I have just come to Delhi. If a notice was sent, my office would have received it. It is a "ghar ka mamala" (internal matter). Why is the media intruding?" he asked.
A showcause notice by the BJP was sent to Sakshi Maharaj yesterday. The action against him came days after his latest comment - that Hindu woman should "give birth to four children to protect the Hindu religion" - created a storm, with political opponents demanding an explanation from the Prime Minister.
Distancing itself, the BJP had said it was a personal opinion of the MP and not that of the party's.
"We strongly urge our workers to focus on promoting the good work done by the government and refrain from getting involved in unnecessary statements," party spokesperson Shrikant Sharma had said.
But Sakshi Maharaj did not express any regret for his remark. A day later, he said, "Raat gayi, baat gayi (As time passed, the matter also ended)."
Over the last couple of months, the BJP had been struggling to control its parliamentarians who have been wading into controversies one after the other. Last month, at a closed-door meeting, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had asked them not to cross the "lakshman rekha" and made it clear that it was non-negotiable.
"I will not compromise on this," he had warned soon after Union minister Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti had used an expletive at a campaign rally in Delhi, making the BJP vulnerable to a massive attack by the opposition.
BJP MPs like Yogi Adityanath have continued to make public statements backing religious conversions and even announcing more conversion programmes.
Sakshi Maharaj had also attracted criticism following his comments about Nathuram Godse being a "patriot" and not an "anti-national".