Sakshi Maharaj, the saffron-robed BJP MP who is usually critical of what is termed as ‘western culture’, on Sunday startled many when he inaugurated a nightclub in Uttar Pradesh’s capital Lucknow. However, Sakshi later claimed that he was unaware that it was a nightclub. Speaking to the Times Of India, the BJP MP said that he was told by a party functionary that it is a restaurant owned by his son-in-law. He has also lodged a complaint with party’s state unit chief Mahendra Nath Pandey.
Sakshi’s presence at the inaugural event raised many an eyebrow as it came in the backdrop of a rape case in his constituency where his party colleague MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar has been named as an accused. However, this is not the first time Sakshi has courted a controversy. In complete contrast to his inauguration of a night club, he had recently said that couples hugging or embracing in a “vulgar” manner in public places should be put behind bars.
Sachchidanand Hari Sakshi aka Sakshi Maharaj said that such couples are found engaged in vulgar acts in public places like parks, cars and motorcycles, adding that there is no discussion or action on such issues.
The BJP MP courted a big controversy when he came out in support of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh and said there was only one person against him while crores support him. Later, the Dera chief was convicted to a 20-year jail term.
Making allegedly insensitive remarks, Sakshi had said, “Crores of people are supporting Ram Rahim, and only one person is complaining against him. Is one person right or are crores of people right?”
He had further asked if the Supreme Court or High Court call the Shahi Imam (head) of Jama Masjid the manner it did with Ram Rahim. “He is also wanted in many cases… Is he their relative? Ram Rahim is a simple man so he is being harassed,” he had said.
An accused in Babri Masjid demolition case, Sakshi Maharaj had last year said he was fortunate to appear in front of a special CBI court in the Babri Masjid demolition case.
Asked if he had any role in demolishing the mosque, the BJP MP said: “There was no structure, but there was a small Ram temple, so we tried to make a new temple.”