Conversion makes 'veiled entry' into BJP meeting

Despite having declared beforehand that conversion was not on the agenda of the party at its executive committee meet that began in Mirzapur on Saturday, the issue did make a ‘veiled entry’ and the ‘hardcore Hindutva’ leaders voiced their support to what they termed ‘ghar vapasi’ (home coming).

Though state BJP chief Luxmi Kant Bajpai and party’s UP in-charge Om Mathur washed their hands off the issue saying the party had nothing to do with it, leaders like Ram Shankar Katehria and Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti, both ministers in the Union cabinet, said 

there was nothing wrong if someone ‘voluntarily’ changed his or her faith.Katheria advocated for a strong ‘anti-conversion’ law and accused his opponents of trying to ‘communalise’ the recent ‘mass conversion’ in Agra.

“Those who are opposing the Agra conversion, do not want a strong law on the issue,” he claimed.Muzaffarnagar riot accused BJP legislator Suresh Rana also supported ‘conversion’ programmes by the saffron outfits and termed it as ‘ghar vapasi’. “What is wrong is someone wants to come back home?,” Rana asked.

The ‘Hindutva’ leaders said they would lend wholehearted support to the saffron outfits in their efforts top encourage ‘conversion’. “No one raises a finger when the missionaries hold mass conversion programmes,” Rana said.

BJP MP from Gorakhpur Mahant Adityanath has declared that he will take part in the ‘mass conversion’ programme at Aligarh on December 25 though it has been banned by the district administration.

Bajpai, however, said the BJP had ‘nothing to do with the controversy’. “It may be personal agenda of some individuals. The party is in no way associated to it,” the BJP leader said. The issue did not come up during the meeting, which was being held at Devraha Baba ashram near Vindhyachal in Mirzapur district.

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