MUMBAI: After publishing a controversial column on voting rights for Muslims in its mouthpiece ‘Saamna’, Shiv Sena, jointly ruling Maharashtra with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has featured another provoking article claiming that minorities needed to stick to ‘family planning’ as the ‘growing population of Muslims and Christians has become a threat to Hindus’.

Backing similar remarks made by Sadhvi Deva Thakur, a leader of right-wing organization Hindu Mahasabha recently which led to a huge outrage, it objects words like ‘sterilization’ and ‘nasbandi’ and says that it prefers ‘family planning’.

The Sadhvi had called for an ‘emergency’ to force ‘Muslims and Christians to undergo sterilisation (nasbandi) so that they can’t increase their numbers’.

“What she meant was family planning…She should not have uttered the word ‘nasbandi’. But family planning and population control are one and the same thing,” Shiv Sena said in its editorial. It further added that, “even stray dogs cannot be sterilized forcefully, as Maneka Gandhi is standing up for them. But stray dogs later bite people.”

Advocating smaller families for Muslims to stay ‘happy and healthy’, it said, “When we raise the demand for performing ‘nasbandi’ – sorry, family planning – it is in the best interests of the country and the Muslim community… With family planning, they will be able to feed and educate the children and live better lives…”

The Shiv Sena also slammed the Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan for his recent comments on Muslims. Khan had stated that Muslims are poor and therefore, they produce more kids. “We are wasting time engaging in a useless debate on ‘nasbandi’ versus ‘family planning’… If nothing else, the Muslim leaders can at least sterilise their communal ideology and save the country,” the editorial mentions, taking a jibe at Khan.

Sanjay Raut of Shiv Sena had sparked a massive controversy on Sunday by saying in a column that Muslims in the country were being used for vote bank politics and that revoking their voting rights would resolve their problems.

Following the country-wide criticism, Saamna’s Executive Editor and a Member of Parliament, Raut explained that he was ‘misunderstood’.

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