VHP plans to have mass conversion on Sonia turf

Saffron leader says they have identified 100 for 're-conversion'

Buoyed by veiled support by some BJP leaders, saffron organisations are now contemplating a mass conversion programme at Raebareli, the Lok Sabha constituency of Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

According to sources, Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) activists have been planning a “big mass conversion” programme at Raebareli in the next few days. “The date and venue of the programme have not yet been finalised...but plans are afoot,” said a VHP functionary here.

The VHP leader said workers have been making rounds of villages in Raebareli district for the past several months and are trying to identify people, whose ancestors had converted and who were still neglected and lived in abject poverty.

“We have so far identified around 100 people...they will be re-converted at the mass conversion programme,” the VHP leader said, adding that the outfit was trying to rope in more number of people.

District officials, however, said they had no information about any such mass conversion programme.

“Obviously we will not allow any programme that can vitiate the atmosphere in the district,” said a senior official here.

The officials said that the government would act against those responsible for holding such a programme.

The government has already banned the proposed mass conversion programme in communally sensitive Aligarh on the occasion of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s birthday on December 25.

But saffron outfits made it clear that they will go ahead with the programme despite the ban.

BJP Lok Sabha MP Mahant Adityanath has declared that he will attend the programme. He refuted the allegations that saffron organisations were luring people for conversion.

“We have not forced anyone to convert...they are doing it voluntarily,” the leader claimed.

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