New Delhi: With the BJP leadership taking a tough stand against his rants, party MP Sakshi Maharaj on Wednesday expressed regret for his controversial statement exhorting Hindu women to produce at least four children in order to protect Hindu religion.
“I express regret,” the Unnao MP said, adding that he will never let down Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah.
The climb down came a day after Shah had issued him a show-cause notice but Maharaj had been denying having received any.
According to BJP sources, the show-cause notice had asked the MP to respond within 10 days why he made the controversial statements despite instructions from the party not to do so.
In fact, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had himself instructed party leaders to restrain from making such comments.
Addressing a gathering in Meerut, Sakshi Maharaj said the concept of four wives and 40 children will not work in India and the time has come when "a Hindu woman must produce at least four children" in order to protect Hindu religion.
The BJP distanced itself from the comment, and party president Amit Shah said such comments were "damaging".
An official statement from the party's national secretary Shrikant Sharma requested party workers to "concentrate all their efforts in the promotion of all the work being done for public benefit and should distance themselves from unnecessary opinionated statements".
The MP had earlier been involved in a controversy over his comment calling Mahatma Gandhi's killer Nathuram Godse a "patriot".
During the winter session of parliament, the prime minister, at a meeting of the parliamentary party of the BJP, asked MPs not to make controversial statements.
This came following a statement by union Minister of State Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti using abusive language during a public meeting.
The winter session also witnessed repeated protests by the opposition, demanding a clarification from Modi over conversions and communal statements.
With agency inputs