Sakshi Maharaj
Sakshi Maharaj at the Parliament premises in New Delhi on 16 December, 2014.IANS

A day after calling on Hindu women to have at least four children to "protect" their religion, BJP's Sakshi Maharaj had a unique justification for his statement made on Wednesday. "Raat gayi, baat gayi (As time passed, the matter also ended)" he said, adding that it was a religious and not political gathering where his comment was made.

The 58-year-old had at a religious congregation in Meerut said: "The time has come when a Hindu woman must produce at least four children in order to protect the Hindu religion. Give one child to the Army and another to us (religious scholars and preachers), he said."

BJP's reaction to the incident was that Sakshi Maharaj's statement was a personal opinion which did not reflect the party's views. "We strongly urge our workers to focus on promoting the good work done by the government and refrain from getting involved in unnecessary statements," said BJP spokesman Shrikant Sharma.

The Congress demanded an explanation from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, reports NDTV.

"Why has the Prime Minister maintained silence even for 24 hours? Is this the new population policy of India?" asked party leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi.

Sakshi Maharaj, a Lok Sabha member from Uttar Pradesh, had just a month back stirred controversy by calling Mahatma Gandhi's assassin Nathuram Godse a 'patriot'.