NEW DELHI: On the penultimate day of the Winter session, the conversion issue generated considerable heat in the Lok Sabha leading to several disruptions. As the belligerent Opposition demanded a statement from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Centre said neither it nor the BJP had anything to do with it.
But for the Opposition looking to corner the government, the day had several lows, as RJD MP Pappu Yadav tore newspapers and threw them at the Chair and CPM MP Sampath had to be rushed to hospital as his faced “exhaustion” following his aggressive shouting in the Well of the House.
The proceedings of the Lok Sabha were disrupted after Congress MP from Alappuzha K C Venugopal raised the issue of re-conversion in his home state Kerala. Blaming the Sangh Parivar, Venugopal said: “There are massive forcible conversions taking place. A lot of agony and pain is being created. Incidents had been reported in Kerala, one in Cheppad, Alappuzha and the other in Kollam district. Certainly, this indicates the purposeful movement of the Sangh Parivar which is organising these types of massive forcible conversions.”
He said that by making false promises and converting people, it was creating tension among people and it would disturb communal harmony.
Rejecting the demand, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu said the government did not support conversion or re-conversion and if any individuals were violating the law, the state governments were empowered to take action.
“There is a State Government elected in Kerala that unfortunately belongs to Venugopal’s party. They have not taken action,” Naidu said.
He added that the Opposition was trying to raise a non-issue as the entire country was peaceful and people were living in harmony. “Some people are unhappy about it. What can we do? If you want to make a political issue, then you can make it a political issue outside,” he said.
As the Opposition members kept rushing in to the Well of the House raising slogans, the House had to be adjourned four times. MPs from the TMC, Left, Congress, AAP, RJD were part of the protests that raised slogans against the Prime Minister. When the House met after lunch, Pappu Yadav tore papers and threw it towards the chair. Yadav apologised as the Chair took offence. Leader of Congress Mallikarjun Kharge hit out at the government saying that the Opposition demands Modi’s intervention as he was the one running the show and command. Only his writ runs in the country and he holds the master key, Kharge said. The House again had to be adjourned when CPM MP Sampath was taken ill.
Later, the Congress staged a walkout condemning the attitude of the government.