More BJP leaders, including East Delhi MP Gautam Gambhir, have extended support to Nupur Sharma who was suspended as a party spokesperson for her remarks against the Prophet and the Muslim community.
Gambhir tweeted, “Silence of so called ‘secular liberals’ on the sickening display of hatred and death threats throughout the country against a woman who has apologized is surely deafening.”
He later sought to downplay his support and clarified: “Nobody has supported the statements made by Nupur Sharma. The party has taken strict disciplinary action against her and she has unequivocally apologized for the same.”
Silence of so called ‘secular liberals’ on the sickening display of hatred & death threats throughout the country against a woman who has apologized is surely DEAFENING! #LetsTolerateIntolerance
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— Gautam Gambhir (@GautamGambhir) June 12, 2022
He also referred to protests in several states over the remarks against the Prophet: “The blatant display of hatred, death threats against her and her family and coordinated rioting in different parts of the country is a cause of concern. Even more astonishing is the silence of those secular liberals who blame our party for so-called intolerance. It is clear that vote bank politics is in play in certain states where rioters have created havoc with impunity. I laud the actions taken by the UP government to control the situation and to discourage such behaviour. This kind of behavior cannot be tolerated in 21st Century India.”
Former councillor from Safdarjung Radhika Abrol also extended her support by posting a video on her Facebook page, in which she said, “Nupur Sharma, a Hindu woman who did not say anything wrong… her speech was edited and put on Twitter to play with Muslim sentiments.”
The video, however, was later taken down.
Abrol told The Indian Express that the video was removed by her as Facebook said it goes against their community standards. “I am supporting Nupur as an individual. Just because I am linked to an organization that doesn’t mean that I don’t have my own thoughts. There is space for open thinking in our party.”
Former media panelist and BJP leader Rahul Trivedi also showed his support and tweeted, “No one above the party’s ideology, but the way some organizations and their people are trying to destabilize the country with foreign funds, they will never succeed in their intention. Every nationalist is with (our) sister.”
The Indian Express had earlier reported that there were murmurs of discontent in the Delhi BJP unit over the suspension and expulsion of Sharma and Naveen Kumar Jindal respectively for their remarks.
Senior leaders in the state unit said that while many are avoiding showing support on social media, some have expressed discontent in internal WhatsApp groups and personal conversations. Leaders said the incidents of the past two-three days, with protests in several states, have only solidified their support.
Earlier, BJP leader Kapil Mishra, mandal- and district-level leaders had openly supported Sharma.
The BJP suspended Sharma, one of its national spokespersons, from the party’s primary membership for her remarks in a television debate. The BJP’s Delhi unit, meanwhile, expelled Jindal, who heads the party’s media unit in Delhi, for his tweets from him.