PATNA: Union Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad today said opposition parties were not ready for a debate on conversion issue that has rocked Parliament for the last two weeks and blamed them for stalling the proceedings in Rajya Sabha.
"Lok Sabha is going on, but why not Rajya Sabha? It is because we are ready for a debate on religious conversion, but the opposition parties, including Congress, JD(U), Samajwadi Party, CPI, CPM are not. They know they will be exposed if there is a debate," Prasad told reporters.
Describing the deadlock in Rajya Sabha as 'unfortunate', Prasad said the opposition parties were indulging in the logjam deliberately.
He said the BJP does not believe in forced religious conversion and the party is against such incidents wherever they happen.
"Today there is peace and harmony in the country, but the opposition parties do not believe in them. They did not raise voices when there were 100 riots in Uttar Pradesh or when Muzaffarnagar riots happened and people were killed. Likewise, they do not want a debate on religious conversion," Prasad said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is for the development of every citizen along with the development of the country while opposition parties only want their own development, the Union minister said.
"They (opposition parties) have lost the country. They have lost in Haryana and Maharashtra. They are going to lose in Jharkhand and be wiped out in Jammu and Kashmir, still they have not learnt the lesson," Prasad said.
Talking about Bihar, Prasad pointed out that the situation in the state had deteriorated sharply and wondered who was the leader at the helm - former chief minister Nitish Kumar or Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi.
"I want to know who the leader in Bihar is. Who is in the control of things here? Is it Nitish Kumar or is it the Chief Minister (Manjhi)? The situation in the state is very bad. The governance here needs to be strengthened," Prasad said.
Taking potshots at Kumar, the minister said that he kept harping about the Centre's non-cooperation with Bihar, but he should first tell what he was doing for the state.
"Kumar had been in power in Bihar since 2005. Why did not a single big industry come to the state during his long tenure?" Prasad asked.