BJP's Nupur Sharma suspended, Naveen Jindal expelled over remarks on Prophet
The development comes hours after the party issued a statement seeking to defuse a row over controversial comments allegedly made by Nupur Sharma against Prophet Mohammed.
The BJP on Sunday suspended its spokesperson Nupur Sharma and expelled its Delhi media head Naveen Kumar Jindal after their alleged controversial remarks on Prophet Mohammad that triggered protests and condemnations.
The development comes hours after the party issued a statement seeking to defuse the row .
Expelling Jindal, the BJP said his views on social media vitiate communal harmony and are in violation of its fundamental beliefs.
"Your primary membership is immediately terminated and you are expelled from the party," a communication from its Delhi president Adesh Gupta said.
A communication to Sharma from the party's disciplinary committee 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.
The BJP earlier asserted that it respects all religions and strongly denounces insult of any religious personality. 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.
Though the BJP did not name the spokesperson or referred to the comments need on the TV show there has been a widespread protest against Sharma’s comments on the television channel against the Prophet.
On Friday, clashes broke out in Uttar Pradesh’s Kanpur after members of two groups threw stones at each other over a call to shut down markets in protest against her statement made in the context of the controversy over the Gyanvapi issue.
Singh said, "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."
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.
"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.
Earlier in the day, Jindal tweeted in Hindi, “We respect the faith of all religions but the question was only from those mindsets who spread hatred by using indecent comments on our deities. I just asked him a question. It does not mean that we are against any religion.