In a move being seen as an attempt to rein in spokespersons who violate Bharatiya Janata Party’s official line on sensitive matters, the BJP on Sunday suspended leader Nupur Sharma from the party pending further investigation and expelled Naveen Kumar Jindal.
Sources stated the strict action against the two leaders came as an attempt to thwart any further damage to the party’s image over their controversial remarks.
It is learnt the two have been reined in for their alleged remarks against Prophet Muhammad. The party felt that these comments were causing it immense damage, sources said.
“You have expressed views contrary to the Party’s position on various matters which is in clear violation of rule 10 ( A) of constitution of BJP. I have been directed to convey to you that pending further inquiry you are suspended from the party/ your responsibilities, assignments if any with further effect,” stated the notice issued to Sharma by the central disciplinary committee.
News18.com tried to reach out to both of them for comments, but got no response till the publication of the story.
Sources said Jindal had been stripped of his duties unofficially for past one month owing to his controversial statements.
Earlier on Sunday, the BJP asserted that it respects all religions and strongly denounces insult of any religious personality, seeking to defuse a row over controversial remarks allegedly made by its spokespersons against Prophet Muhammad.
Party general secretary Arun Singh said in a statement that the party is strongly against any ideology which insults or demeans any sect or religion. “The BJP does not promote such people or philosophy,” he said.
The BJP statement, however, made no direct mention of any incident or comment. Sharma’s remarks have drawn protests from Muslim groups.
“During the thousands of years of history of India, every religion has blossomed and flourished. The Bharatiya Janata Party respects all religions. The BJP strongly denounces insult of any religious personalities of any religion,” Singh said.
“India’s Constitution gives right to every citizen to practice any religion of his or her choice and to honour and respect every religion,” he said in the statement issued by the party.
“As India celebrates 75th year of its Independence, we are committed to making India a great country where all are equal and everyone lives with dignity, where all are committed to India’s unity and integrity, where all enjoy the fruits of growth and development,” the BJP leader said.
An FIR was registered against Nupur Sharma in Maharashtra’s Pune for allegedly hurting religious sentiments through her comments on Prophet Muhammad during a television news debate. Police invoked sections 153A (Promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence), 153B (Imputations, assertions prejudicial to national integration), 295A (Deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) of the IPC against her.