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Beef row: Shah summons leaders over controversial remarks

With under fire over controversial remarks of its leaders on Dadri and beef row, party chief has cracked the whip and warned them against making such statements after Prime Minister Modi expressed “extreme displeasure” on them.

Shah summoned Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, Union Minister Mahesh Sharma, MP Sakshi Maharaj and Sangeet Som to the party headquarters here and warned them against making such comments that threaten to derail the development agenda of the Modi government, a party source said.

“The party president has warned them against making such statements. Such controversies in a way derail the development agenda of the party as well as the Modi government,” the source privy to the development said.

Shah told them that the lynching of a man in Dadri over rumours that he had eaten and stored beef was essentially a failure of the state government in maintaining and order and BJP had nothing to do with it.

Their controversial remarks deflected the attention from the dispensation and turned the spotlight on BJP, the source said.

The top party brass swung into action after Modi, who has been criticised for not doing enough to rein in party hotheads, conveyed his anger over the controversy sparked by the comments of these leaders.

“Modiji is extremely upset over these controversies,” the source said.

Khattar was recently reported to have said that Muslims can live in India but they will have to give up eating beef. He was forced to retract following a backlash over his comment.

Both Sharma and Som had visited the Dadri village where a Muslim man was lynched over rumours of beef consumption. While Sharma had termed the murder as an “accident”, Som had alleged that police was framing innocents and warned of retaliation like Muzaffarnagar, a place ravaged by riots in 2013.

The Union Culture Minister and Hindutva leader Sakshi Maharaj have been at the centre of a series of controversies over their right-wing comments.