BJP against politics of vote, treats all religions same: Nadda to diplomats

Stating that BJP respects all religions and does not believe in discriminating people on the basis of religion, party president J P Nadda on Saturday said that his party is firm on “justice to all and appeasement to none”.

Interacting with heads of missions from 13 countries, Nadda reiterated that BJP and the party-led government at the Centre works on the theme “sabka saath, sabka vikas, sabka vishwas, and sabka prayas.”

The event coming in the middle of public protests in several states over two now-suspended party spokespersons’ remarks purportedly against Islam, Nadda was asked by one envoy about BJP’s approach towards the minorities, to which he reiterated that BJP “respects all religions equally”.

Sources said the diplomats, including those from nine European countries, repeatedly asked him about BJP’s approach towards minorities.

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“In his opening statement, in which he mentioned BJP’s structure, the functioning of its morchas and various programmes, Nadda-ji asserted that the party respects all religions equally,” Vijay Chauthaiwala, in charge of BJP’s foreign department, told The Sunday Express. “There were questions on the party’s approach towards minorities, to which the party president said BJP is against vote-bank politics. He said the party is committed to sabka saath, sabka vikas, and that the government’s programmes do not differentiate people in the name of religion or caste.”

Nadda was speaking in the fourth edition of the ‘Know BJP’ programme — an initiative to introduce the party’s vision, mission and work culture to different countries — held at the party headquarters.

With Saturday’s programme, Chauthaiwala said, the party has interacted with 47 heads of missions. He said the envoys asked about women’s participation in party programmes and how BJP reaches the grassroots level. “When asked about the party’s strategy for 2024 General Election, Nadda-ji said BJP will fight on the (planks of) development and our performance on delivery of schemes. He said BJP is a party that makes itself accountable to people by giving report cards on promises it has made to people,” Chauthaiwala said.

Asked by one of the ambassadors about changes BJP’s electoral victory has brought to the country, Nadda said that politics in India has changed from family politics to performance politics.

Heads of missions from Austria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Lithuania, Serbia, Spain, the UK, Jamaica, Mauritius, Nepal and Thailand took part in Saturday’s programme.

The BJP had recently suspended Nupur Sharma as a national spokesperson and Naveen Kumar Jindal from Delhi BJP’s media unit following their anti-Islam remarks and inflammatory tweets. There has been a diplomatic outrage from several nations following these remarks.

Ahead of its disciplinary committee taking action against its former leaders, BJP had issued a statement asserting that it “respects all religions” and “strongly denounces insults of any religious personality”. India’s embassies abroad have maintained that the two leaders’ remarks did not “reflect the views of the Government of India” but that they are “fringe elements.”

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