Amid a row with Islamic nations regarding two Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders' remarks on Prophet Muhammad, Union Minister for Commerce Piyush Goyal on Tuesday, 7 June, said that all Indians living in Gulf nations are safe and do not need to worry.
"All the Indians living in Gulf countries are safe, and they do not have to worry. There is no tension, you can contact any of your friends or relatives there," Goyal said at a press conference in Kerala.
"We will continue to lead the world. With all these countries we have very good relations and the relations will continue to be very good. Such statements should not be made and action has been taken against the persons."Piyush Goyal, Union minister
When asked if the contentious statements have affected the image of the Narendra Modi goernment, the minister said, "I don't think this statement was made by any government functionary and therefore it has had no impact on the government. Necessary action has been taken by the party."
Six Islamic nations, as well as the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), which consists of 56 member states, have censured the BJP over the controversial remarks made by former party spokesperson Nupur Sharma against Prophet Muhammad.
Indian ambassadors to Iran, Kuwait, and Qatar were also summoned by the foreign ministries of the respective countries on Sunday, 5 June. Kuwait’s foreign ministry said that it had summoned the ambassador to India and had conveyed to the envoy that it “rejects and denounces the statements made by an official in the ruling party against the Holy Prophet."
The contentious comments were made by Sharma during a debate on a television channel. When the controversy snowballed, BJP's Delhi media chief Naveen Jindal posted a controversial tweet about the Prophet, which he deleted after the outrage.
On Sunday, the BJP suspended Sharma and expelled Jindal amid the backlash.
The Indian government also said in a statement that the controversial remarks were "the views of fringe elements," and that the Centre respected all religions.