Reaction in Arab world must’ve ‘really stung’: Omar Abdullah on BJP’s move

“There is a context to the BJP suddenly waking up to denounce “insult to any religious personalities of any religion” and it has nothing to do with having offended the sentiments of lakhs of Muslims in India. This apology of a statement is aimed at an international audience,” Abdullah said.

Omar Abdullah NC
Omar Abdullah also questioned the Government of India for dismissing the ruling BJP’s official spokespersons as “fringe”. File photo

Jammu and Kashmir National Conference (NC) vice-president Omar Abdullah on Sunday (June 5) said the BJP suspended its national spokesperson Nupur Sharma and expelled Naveen Kumar Jindal as the party must have been “really stung” by the reaction in the Arab world.

Abdullah was reacting after the BJP took action against Sharma for her alleged comment against Prophet Muhammad in a TV debate, and Jindal for his controversial remarks on social media.

Also read: ‘Unconditionally withdraw my statement’: BJP’s Nupur Sharma after suspension

However, the BJP did not mention Sharma’s remarks on Prophet Muhammad but said she had “expressed views contrary to the Party’s position on various matters” and hence taking action.

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Abdullah also questioned the Government of India for dismissing the ruling BJP’s official spokespersons as “fringe”.

“Officially appointed spokespersons of the ruling BJP have today been dismissed by the Government of India as “the fringe”. It begs the question – if they are the fringe, who makes up the mainstream?” he asked.

This was after Qatar on Sunday summoned the Indian ambassador Deepak Mittal over the BJP leaders’ comments on Prophet Muhammad.

The Indian Embassy in Qatar said that the ambassador conveyed that “the tweets do not, in any manner, reflect the views of the Government of India. These are the views of fringe elements”.

Earlier in the day, in a statement, the BJP said it “respects all religions” while trying to defuse the situation after violence broke out in Kanpur over Sharma’s comment.

“During the thousands of years of the 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,” the BJP said in a statement.

Reacting to this, former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Abdullah said the apology from the BJP was aimed at an international audience.

“There is a context to the BJP suddenly waking up to denounce “insult to any religious personalities of any religion” and it has nothing to do with having offended the sentiments of lakhs of Muslims in India. This apology of a statement is aimed at an international audience,” he tweeted.

When the party suspended Sharma and Jindal, he said, “The reaction in the Arab world must have really stung.”

According to Abdullah, there was “anger” in Arab countries over BJP leaders’ comments on Prophet Muhammad.

Jindal, after his expulsion from the BJP, said his remarks were not aimed at hurting the religious sentiments of any community.

Abdullah questioned Jindal’s intentions as he wrote on Twitter, “This man had called The Prophet (PBUH) a rapist. Nauzubillah. Now he says his remarks “weren’t aimed at hurting religious sentiments of any community”. What did he think the remarks would do? They were made knowing they would hurt sentiments, he just didn’t foresee the outcome!”

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