This comes after more than 400 positive cases and 15 corona deaths have been reported across the country which, officials said, can be traced back to a Tablighi Jamaat gathering in Nizamuddin in Delhi in mid-March.
In a meeting with national office bearers Thursday evening, Nadda is said to have told them that no party leader should make any provocative or divisive remark but support the efforts of the Prime Minister as well as that of state governments irrespective of which party is in power there, said a source.
“There was already a direction that we have a great responsibility of leading the nation. The virus and the disease have made everyone vulnerable across the world, of all faiths, no one should issue any statements or remarks that are provocative,” said a senior leader who participated in the meeting.
“This was reiterated when the Tablighi issue came up. There is a directive that no one should make it a communal issue. Only leaders of the minority community can comment on that if they wish to. We have to be united in our fight against the virus,” the leader added.
This is significant given that many supporters of the party, especially on social media, cited the outbreak to fuel campaigns like “CoronaJihad,” and “Markaz Conspiracy.”
On April 1, BJP IT cell head Amit Malviya tweeted: “Delhi’s dark underbelly is exploding! Last 3 months have seen an Islamic insurrection of sorts, first in the name of anti-CAA protests from Shaheen Bagh to Jamia, Jaffrabad to Seelampur. And now the illegal gathering of the radical Tablighi Jamaat at the markaz. It needs a fix!”
Tweeted Union Minister and BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi: “Talibani Crime by Tablighi Jamaat. This is not a negligence. It’s a serious criminal act. When the entire country is fighting united against Corona, such a sin is unpardonable.”
Goa Chief Minister and BJP leader Pramod Sawant said that “the outfit (Tablighi Jamaat) had damaged India.”
At Nadda’s meeting, the party took a stand that a “united front” was needed in the fight against corona.
“State units have been asked to support the efforts made by the respective governments and follow instructions issued by them instead of violating them,” said another source. “For example, Kerala is ruled by our bitter rivals, but the instruction given to the state unit is to cooperate with the CPM-led government,” a source added.
This calibration comes in the wake of protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Register of Citizens and the communal riots in north-east Delhi during the visit of US President Donald Trump which dented the government’s image. The party leadership, sources said, did not want the current “human crisis” to take any such divisive or political turn.