Seeking to defuse a row over controversial comments allegedly made by its spokesperson against Prophet Mohammed, the BJP asserted on Sunday that it respects all religions and strongly denounces insult of any religious personality.
Amid a row over remarks of BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma, party general secretary Arun Singh said in a statement that the party is strongly against any ideology which insults or demeans any sect or religion.
The BJP does not promote such people or philosophy, he said.
The BJP statement, however, made no direct mention of any incident or comment. Sharma's remarks have drawn protests from Muslim groups.
Singh said, "During the thousands of years of history of India every religion has blossomed and flourished. The Bharatiya Janata Party respects all religions. The BJP strongly denounces insult of any religious personalities of any religion." India's Constitution gives right to every citizen to practice any religion of his or her choice and to honour and respect every religion, he said.
"As India celebrates 75th year of its Independence, we are committed to making India a great country where all are equal and everyone lives with dignity, where all are committed to India's unity and integrity, where all enjoy the fruits of growth and development," the BJP leader said.
Nupur Sharma's comment during a TV debate last week, purportedly insulting the Prophet, had triggered a huge outcry and protests from Muslim groups.
Thirty-six people have been arrested and three FIRs filed - in which 40 persons have been named and 1,000 others listed as unknown accused on charges of rioting and attempt to murder - after violence between members of a minority community and police in Kanpur on Friday.
One group opposed the shutdown call by the other group, leading to clashes involving incidents of stone-throwing. The police had to fire tear gas shells to disperse the crowd and prevent further violence.
Nupur Sharma has also been named in multiple police cases in Maharashtra over her comment. She has denied any wrongdoing and claimed that she has been receiving death threats.
(with inputs from PTI)