India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday suspended spokesperson Nupur Sharma and expelled Delhi BJP media in-charge Naveen Kumar Jundal from the party for making derogatory remarks about the Holy Prophet.
The move, which came shortly after the BJP issued a statement condemning the insult to any religious figure, as a result of the party’s growing unease over anti-Muslim statements.
The BJP leadership, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is angry with Nupur Sharma’s statement in a televised debate.
On Twitter, the Arab world, including the Grand Mufti of Oman, is calling for a boycott of India.
The notice issued to Sharma by the BJP’s Central Disciplinary Committee said, “You have expressed your views on various issues contrary to the party’s position, which is clear from Rule 10 (a) of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s constitution.” There is a violation. We have been instructed to inform you that you have been immediately suspended from the party and your responsibilities/assignments until further inquiry. “
Meanwhile, Nopur Sharma tweeted and asked the media and people not to reveal his residential address.
“My family has security concerns,” he tweeted.
A BJP spokesperson also posted a message in which she wrote that she would apologize if anyone was offended by her statement.
In a letter to Jundal, Delhi BJP president Adish Gupta wrote that his ideology of fanning sectarian divisions on social media was against the party’s basic thinking. You acted against the ideology and policy of the party. Therefore, your basic membership is immediately terminated and you are also suspended from the party.
The move is also seen as an attempt to rein in leaders who are “crossing the party’s official line on sensitive issues” and often embarrass the party.
BJP sources said that the crackdown on Sharma and Jundal was being seen as a precautionary measure.
Trying to ease tensions over the remarks made by its spokespersons yesterday, the BJP issued a statement saying that it “strongly condemns” insulting any religious figure.
The party also stressed that it does not promote “such people or philosophies” in any way.
Arun Singh, the party’s national general secretary, said in a statement that “in the history of India, every religion has flourished. The BJP respects all religions. The BJP strongly condemns the insult of any religion or religious figure. The BJP is also strongly opposed to any ideology that insults or humiliates any sect or religion. The BJP does not promote such people or philosophy. ”
The statement further said that the constitution gives every citizen the right to practice any religion of his choice and to respect and honor every religion.
It may be recalled that there were several protests across India against Nupur Sharma’s insulting statement in which Muslims condemned Sharma’s views.
On Friday, sectarian clashes erupted in Kanpur during a strike against the insulting remarks of BJP spokespersons.
At a Sangh program in Nagpur on Thursday, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Singh chief Mohan Bhagat emphasized the need for harmony between Hindus and Muslims, saying there was no need to look for “Shivling” in every mosque.