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PM reins in MPs, but silent on conversions

The divide between the government and the opposition on the issue of religious re-conversion sharpened on Tuesday with the ruling party bluntly refusing any assurance from Prime Minister Narendra Modi that no such cases would be tolerated. On the other hand, the Prime Minister while addressing the BJP parliamentary party members on Tuesday morning, said, “Though we should be careful about our public statements, but we must not hesitate in espousing party’s ideologies and policies.”

An indication towards the same had also come from the Leader of House in Rajya Sabha, Arun Jaitley, on Monday after the opposition first raised the issue of conversion. While offering to hold discussions, Jaitley said, “The opposition can take the decision. There is no difference in opinion that such incidents (forced conversions) shall stop. Is the opposition wanting ban on conversion or forced
conversions?”           

The proceedings of Upper House has been washed away by oppositions parties for the last two days over proposed re-conversion of people from Christian community to be held in Aligarh on Christmas Day by Dharam Jagaran Samiti -- a western UP-based Hindutva group.

The ceremony, which has been dubbed ‘ghar wapsi,’ is reportedly supported by Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and its affiliates, including party’s Gorakhpur MP Yogi Adityanath. While batting for the ‘ghar wapsi’ campaign, Adityanath has also urged the Modi government not to intervene in the matter as there is nothing wrong if Hindus who were forcibly converted want to become Hindus again. The “grand ceremony” would be held at the Maheshwari Inter College.

Meanwhile, the Uttar Pradesh Police has said it would not allow the conversion ceremony. “No event will be allowed on the 25th, whether it is conversion or anything similar to it,” Mohit Agarwal, the deputy inspector general of police, Aligarh has said, adding that “Strict action will be taken against any cadres of any party found involved in conversions.”
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