Oppn walks out amid debate on 'conversion'

Oppn walks out amid debate on 'conversion'

A heated debate in the Lok Sabha on the alleged conversion of 200 Muslims to Hinduism in Agra saw a united opposition accusing the government of engineering “religious polarisation” for political gains.

However, the government outrightly rejected any hand in the RSS affiliated bodies’ campaign for “homecoming” of those converted to other religion. Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu went a step ahead and tried to utilise the opportunity to appeal to all parties for reaching a consensus on bringing a national anti-conversion law, saying religious conversion was an “old national challenge” and that it was also opposed by Mahatma Gandhi.

Angered by the government’s response and Naidu’s assertion that he was “proud” of his association with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the entire Opposition staged a walk out even before the Union minister concluded his reply. “I appeal to all parties to seriously introspect on this. Let there be anti-conversion laws in all the states and at the Centre. Let us all seriously work towards the progress and preserve our culture,” Naidu told the members.

 Earlier, initiating the debate, Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia claimed that the Muslims were promised ration cards to convert to Hinduism, wondering if these were the “achchhe din (good days)” the BJP had promised.

“I am also proud of being Hindu. But my religion does not teach me narrow mindedness and bitterness,” he said while demanding a clarification from the prime minister.

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