New Delhi: The BJP on Sunday suspended its national spokesperson Nupur Sharma and expelled its Delhi media head Naveen Kumar Jindal after their alleged derogatory remarks against Prophet (PBUH), as it sought to defuse a row over the issue.
Amid protests by Muslim groups over the remarks, the party also issued a statement aimed at assuaging the concerns of minorities and distancing itself from these members, asserting that it respects all religions and strongly denounces the insult of any religious personality.
While Sharma’s remarks during a TV debate have drawn the ire of Muslim groups and several cases have been registered against her for allegedly hurting religious sentiments, Jindal has been accused of often posting inciting comments.
The controversial remarks also sparked a Twitter trend calling for a boycott of Indian products in some countries.
A communication to Sharma from the party’s disciplinary committee secretary Om Pathak said she has expressed views contrary to the party’s position on various matters, which is in clear violation of its constitution.
“Pending further inquiry, you are suspended from the party and from your responsibilities, assignments if any, with immediate effect,” it said.
A communication from Delhi BJP chief Adesh Gupta to Jindal said his views on social media vitiate communal harmony and are in violation of the party’s fundamental beliefs.
He has acted against the party’s policies and ideology, Gupta said.
“Your primary membership is immediately terminated and you are expelled from the party,” Gupta said.
BJP’s minority cell head Jamal Siddiqui said the action showed the “actual face” of the party and sent a message to the rank and file that no one would be allowed to violate Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s mantra of ‘sabka saath, sabka vikas’.
“BJP respects all religions and believes in bringing all people together. But attempts are always being made to portray a false picture of the party,” Siddiqui said.