New Delhi: Left parties on Monday alleged the BJP was "forced to act" and suspend its national spokesperson Nupur Sharma for her controversial remarks against Prophet Muhammed due to pressure from other countries.
The BJP on Sunday suspended Sharma and expelled its Delhi media head Naveen Kumar Jindal as the row over their remarks against the Prophet escalated, with some Muslim countries registering their protest and violence in Kanpur.
With countries like Kuwait, Qatar and Iran reacting sharply, the BJP had issued a statement asserting it respects all religions and strongly denounces insult to any religious personality.
"Nupur Sharma publicly thanked party leaders Amit Shah, PMO and others for support. Now under pressure from other countries they are forced to act and suspend her.These are patrons of hate speech. Condemn Isolate Defeat them Save India," said CPI-M in a tweet.
CPI-M general secretary Sitaram Yechury questioned how BJP leaders speaking on behalf of the party can be called "fringe elements."
"BJP leaders discharging official party responsibilities cannot be 'fringe elements'.
Modi govt functioning under oath of the Indian Constitution must put an end to such religious bigotry and uphold the secular democratic foundations of India," said Yechury in a tweet.
Sharma's comments, made in a TV debate nearly 10 days back, and Jindal's now-deleted tweets also sparked a Twitter trend calling for a boycott of Indian products in some countries.
Referring to the remarks of the Indian Ambassador to Qatar that the controversial tweets do not, in any manner, reflect the views of the government of India and that "these are the views of fringe elements," CPI General Secretary D Raja asked is the government declaring RSS a fringe organisation.
"The so-called ‘fringe elements' were the official spokespersons of the ruling party in India. What they said is not different from the RSS narrative of demonising minorities, which is going on since 1925," Raja said in a tweet.
"Is the government declaring RSS a fringe organisation? BJP, RSS making people fight over religion. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is with the capitalists instead of being with the farmers, workers and labourers," Raja said.
Under attack, Sharma had withdrawn her statement against the Prophet, saying it was never her intention to hurt anyone's religious feelings."