Cannot ban only reconversions: Venkaiah

Cannot ban only reconversions: Venkaiah

Union Urban Development and Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu on Thursday said that there cannot be a standalone legislation to ban only re-conversions.

“Conversions have been happening for hundreds of years. Wherever there is conversion, there will be re-conversion. If converts want to come back to their parent religion, we cannot prevent them through an enactment,” Naidu said at a ‘Good Governance Day’ programme organised by the City BJP on the occasion of the 90th birthday celebrations of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

Naidu’s comment assumes significance in the light of the Opposition’s demand that Prime Minister Narendra Modi clarify if his government supported re-conversion or ‘Ghar Wapsi’ programmes. Naidu added that the NDA government did not support conversion or re-conversion and if any individual was violating the law, states were empowered to take action.

The union minister accused the Congress of practising double standards on the issue of conversions and re-conversions. He said, “The Congress was opposed to re-conversions, but was not ready for a legislation to ban conversions. If you want to ban re-conversions, ban conversions too,” he said.

The minister said that the Congress had become a “restless opposition” and urged the party to respect the mandate of the people who have voted for change.

Naidu took on the State government for its proposal to take over religious mutts if they are being “mismanaged”. “The Congress central leadership should clarify if such a bill is part of its national policy”, he said.

Law Minister T B Jayachandra had tabled the Karnataka Hindu Religious Institutions and Charitable Endowments (Amendment) Bill, 2014, in the Assembly on the concluding day of the Belagavi legislature session, amid din by protesting BJP members.

The State government has subsequently said that it will withdraw the Bill.
Naidu took exception to Social Welfare Minister H Anjaneya’s remarks that he would not be surprised if the BJP confers Bharat Ratna on Nathuram Godse, the assassin of Mahatma Gandhi.

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