Concerned that the shrill communal pitch by some leaders could be counter-productive, the BJP has asked its leaders "to exercise restraint" in the final lap of campaigning for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
The cautionary word from the BJP's leadership to reigning in its loose cannons comes in the backdrop of the BJP leader Giriraj Singh threatening that people who stop Narendra Modi were pro-Pakistan and "will have no place in India" after the BJP comes to power.
BJP leaders said such comments not only run contrary to the party's conviction but also come at a time when Modi "was reaching out to all sections of the society", an oblique reference to attempts to address perceptions that minorities would get a raw deal if the BJP comes to power.
"The point is being conveyed to the state leaders. They should exercise restraint even in the face of provocation and not digress from our core strategy of highlighting Congress' misrule and projecting BJP as a constructive alternative," said a BJP leader.
"Very clearly the party has distanced itself from the remark. BJP as a party does not talk such language," Nirmala Sitaraman, BJP spokesperson said. BJP president Rajnath Singh has pulled up Giriraj Singh for his controversial statement. An FIR has been registered against Giriraj but he refused to back out, prompting Akali leader Naresh Gujral to demand that Singh should be suspended from the BJP.