The BJP has set new limits for its spokesmen and leaders who participate in TV debates as the government faces massive international backlash over party leader Nupur Sharma’s comments about the prophet Mohammed.
Only authorized spokespersons and panelists will participate in TV debates, BJP sources say, and they will be assigned by the media cell.
The spokespersons have been warned not to criticize any religion, symbols or religious figures.
BJP panelists are prohibited from crossing the line during heated discussions. They have been urged to restrain their language and not get agitated or excited, sources say. They cannot violate the party’s ideology or ideals for any provocation, they add.
The BJP has instructed its spokespersons to first check, prepare and find out the party line about the topic of the TV discussion before appearing on any channel.
“Party spokespersons and panelists must remain on the agenda. They should not fall into a trap,” sources said.
The BJP also wants its spokespersons to focus on the government’s social welfare work.
The government is continuing the firefight after two leaders’ comments led to the condemnation of at least 15 countries.
Nupur Sharma, who has since been suspended, made the comments during a TV debate about 10 days ago. She said on Twitter that her comments were in response to “insults” against Lord Shiva. Another party leader, Naveen Jindal, was suspended for posting a tweet about the prophet which he later deleted. The government tried to distance itself from the comments by describing them as ‘views on fringe elements’.
The BJP said on Sunday it “strongly opposes any ideology that insults or humiliates any cult or religion” and “does not promote people or philosophy”. Despite efforts to contain the damage, several Muslim countries have summoned India’s envoys and demanded apologies for the comments.