Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday reportedly addressed Bharatiya Janata Party members at the end of the party’s two-day executive meet, and asked them to focus on work and not be distracted by the opposition. ANI reported that Home Minister Rajnath Singh said Modi also asked party workers not to get involved in any controversies, and to focus on the Centre’s agenda of development. NDTV reported that Modi also said, "The opposition will drag us into negative politics but we need to focus on our agenda let's not get trapped by negative style of politics of opposition."

While addressing the media, Singh said the party has “progressive polices and nationalist thoughts”, ANI reported. He added that political dissent was acceptable, but not anti-nationalism. His remarks come amid a huge controversy after three Jawaharlal Nehru University students were arrested and charged with sedition. The students, who included JNU Students’ Union president Kanhaiya Kumar, had allegedly shouted anti-national slogans at an event organised to protest the judicial death of Parliament attacks convict Afzal Guru.

Earlier in the day, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said the party fully supports freedom of expression and maintained that it can coexist with nationalism.