RAIPUR: The opposition BJP kick-off ‘Halla Bol’ against the Chhattisgarh government over the alleged rising incidents of ‘religious conversion’ from Saturday.
With about two years remaining for the Assembly polls, the issue of religious conversion snowballed into a major controversy following the Sukma SP's assertion in July this year that the Christian missionaries were involved in encouraging the practice.
The BJP claimed that considerable religious conversions are being carried out under the shelter of the state government.
The BJP MPs, MLAs, senior leaders, and cadres organised a ‘peace foot march’ against the alleged religious conversion from Azad Chowk to Rajbhawan where they submitted a memorandum to Governor Anusuiya Uike.
“We have expressed our genuine concern with the Governor over the increasing incidents of religious conversion, and those involved in it are getting the state shelter in Chhattisgarh”, said Raman Singh, the former chief minister and BJP national vice-president.
The BJP state president Vishnu Deo Sai said that earlier only the tribals were lured into religious conversion but now every segment of the population is being targeted right from the capital Raipur to the remote tribal belts. “So we have urged the intervention of the Governor to ensure a strict ban over the incidents of religious conversion”, said Brijmohan Agrawal, senior BJP legislator.
The opposition has further planned to organise demonstrations outside the police station in every district with the demand to “put a check on the religious conversion” from Sunday. On September 13-14 the BJP leaders and cadres will continue their protest at the block level.
The ruling Congress party however called the BJP’s allegation as a desperate attempt to regain the lost ground.
“My government will take prompt action against anyone found involved in forced religious conversion. Not just the highest number of religious conversions but more churches were built when the BJP was in power in Chhattisgarh”, averred the chief minister Bhupesh Baghel in response to the BJP’s protest.
“The opposition now lacks issues against the state government and is trying to exploit the sentiments of the people as a last-ditch effort to revive their political fortune”, claimed Shailesh Nitin Trivedi, chairman, Congress media cell.