Refrain from commenting on religious issues, says BJP to spokespersons

The BJP spokesperson will first check the topic of discussion, prepare it and find out the party's views on it and then appear on TV.

As the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) continues to face an international backlash over the comments against Prophet Muhammad made by former party spokesperson Nupur Sharma and Naveen Kumar Jindal, it has set up new rules for spokespersons chosen to appear on news television debates.

Henceforth only authorised spokespersons will participate in TV debates and discussions. They have been disallowed from commenting on any religion, its symbols or figures.

According to NDTV’s sources, the authorised persons have been warned not to get excited or offended during a discussion and restrain from commenting on issues that can cause harm to the party’s image. They have been told to focus more on the welfare works introduced by the BJP-led central government.

The BJP spokesperson will first check the topic of discussion, prepare it and find out the party’s views on it and then appear on TV.

On June 5 former BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma and Naveen Kumar Jindal were suspended by the party over their ‘blasphemous’ comments on Prophet Muhammad. The comments produced sharp criticism from nearly 15 Muslim majority countries leading to the boycott of Indian products in many.

The party released an official statement on Sunday stating it strongly denounces insults of any religious personalities of any religion.

The decision was met with more criticism back home. Hindutva leaders such as Yati Narasinghanand Saraswati uploaded a video extending their full support to Sharma. #ShameonyouBJP started to trend on Twitter with many BJP supporters calling the party “spineless” and “timid”.

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