Parivar Places Conversion Ball in Oppn’s Court

Shah says enacting legislation will end row; waiting to build consensus, claims Venkaiah

Published: 22nd December 2014 06:02 AM  |   Last Updated: 22nd December 2014 06:02 AM   |  A+A-

CHENNAI: A day after Sangh Parivar patriarch Mohan Bhagwat dared the Opposition to back a law against religious conversion, BJP president Amit Shah seconded it, adding that the party’s stand has always been unambiguous on forced conversions.

“Once there is a law, this (conversion) will come to an end,” Shah said while speaking to media representatives here on Sunday, adding: “Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu has said in Parliament that the government was ready to bring a law against compulsory conversions. Are the so-called secular parties ready to support it?”

However, Shah, the talismanic new chief of the party who was in the city to enliven the party in a State where it has little presence but great potential, refused to be drawn into reacting to Bhagwat’s comments. When the media persisted with queries on RSS involvement in the re-conversion campaign called ‘ghar wapasi’, spearheaded by some of the fringe outfits in the Parivar, Shah only said: “RSS is a nationalist organisation and I have no doubt over this.”

“No one can derail us from development agenda,” he said, when asked if such activities would impact the development route that the Union government led by Narendra Modi is keen on taking.

The issue of conversion and re-conversion has been rocking the Rajya Sabha for days on end, often disrupting the business inside the House.

In Hyderabad, Naidu reacted to Bhagwat’s comment, stating that the government would wait for a consensus to emerge before bringing in a law against conversion.

“The BJP had already announced that it would be right to bring a law against conversion as per the prevailing situation in the country. But that is possible only when there is general consensus. Without consensus, the government would not bring any such law. An advice is given. Everybody has got the right to give advice. There is a right to write. You have the right to make commentary,” he said. 

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