Deputy Chairman of the Jammu and Kashmir National Conference (JKNC), Omar Abdullah, said on Sunday that the BJP “suddenly waking up” to speak out against insulting any religious figure has nothing to do with the fact of having “offended” the feelings of Muslims in the country, but aims in front of an international audience.
The National Conference leader’s remarks came after the BJP, seeking to defuse a row over its spokesman Nupur Sharma’s allegedly controversial remarks against the Prophet Muhammad, said it respects all religions and strongly denounces the insult to any religious figure.
“There is a context in which the BJP is suddenly waking up to speak out against ‘insulting any religious figure of any religion’ and it has nothing to do with offending the feelings of thousands of Muslims in India This statement apology is aimed at an international audience,” Omar Abdullah said in a tweet.
In a statement, BJP General Secretary Arun Singh said the party is firmly against any ideology that insults or belittles any sect or religion.
The statement, however, made no direct mention of any incident or comment.
Later, the BJP suspended Nupur Sharma from the party. A communication from the party’s disciplinary committee was sent to her stating that she had expressed opinions contrary to the party’s position on various issues, which is in clear violation of its constitution.
Nupur Sharma’s remarks during a current affairs debate sparked protests from Muslim groups.
The BJP also expelled Naveen Kumar Jindal, who heads its Delhi media cell, from the party, saying his views on social media vitiate communal harmony and violate his core beliefs.
On Nupur Sharma’s suspension and Naveen Kumar Jindal’s expulsion from the BJP, Omar Abdullah said, “The reaction in the Arab world must have been really piquant.”
Naveen Kumar Jindal said his remarks were not intended to hurt the religious feelings of any community.
(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)