Ruckus in RS over mass 'conversion'

After a week of peace, pandemonium returned to Rajya Sabha on Monday with the united opposition demanding a discussion on religious conversion and an assurance from Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The proceedings could likely be affected on Tuesday since both the sides are refusing to climb-down in the Upper House, where the opposition has an arithmetic edge over the government.

Mayhem returned just when the House was having orderly conduct of business for the past four days after it was paralysed last week over comments by union minister Niranjan Jyoti in an election rally.

Trouble began right away, when the House opened for business at 11 am until it was adjourned for the day at 3.12 pm. In all, the House could hold the session for about 65 minutes. There was an agreement between the government and the opposition to hold the discussion on Monday itself.

During the course of the session, opposition was on its feet demanding that the government should hold the discussion on conversion and forced conversion by the Sang parivar outfits in Uttar Pradesh and an assurance from PM Modi that an Agra-style conversion ceremonies will not repeat elsewhere. The government refused to give in, saying Home Minister Rajnath Singh would reply to the debate.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the government was ready for debate on any issue as he asked Opposition if it wanted “total ban on religious conversion or forced conversion.” Leaders from Congress, Samajwadi Party, JD(U), CPI(M), CPI and Trinamool Congress insisted that Modi should reply, amid accusation from the Treasury benches that the opposition was not interested in a debate.

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