BJP president Amit Shah favours strong law to stop forcible conversions

45491710NEW DELHI: In the midst of a raging row over conversions in Agra by Hindutva outfits, BJP chief Amit Shah today favoured a strong law to stop forcible conversions.

But he lamented that the so-called secular parties will not come forward to support such a measure in Parliament due to their vote bank politics.

“There should be no forcible conversions and a good law should be brought in Parliament against it. I appeal to all other parties to support such a law. But I guarantee that except for BJP, no other party will favour this law due to their votebank politics,” Shah said at a conclave organised by a media group.

He agreed with Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu’s appeal in Parliament that all parties should unite in bringing a law on forcible conversions but why oppose if people want to convert by themselves.

Shah’s remarks assume significance in the context of a controversy triggered by Hindu Jagran Samiti, an RSS outfit which organised a ‘ghar vapsi’ programme in Agra to reconvert Muslims back to Hinduism.

Virtually disapproving of the controversial remarks of party MPs Sakshi Maharaj on Nathuram Godse and Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti’s hate speech, Shah said BJP leaders should show restraint and stay away from making comments on such issues.

“Such comments come to limelight as BJP is now in power.I believe BJP MPs and leaders should stay away from such statements. They should adopt restraint,” he said.

On the issue of ‘Love Jihad’, the BJP President said neither the party nor any of its leader has coined the word, which was a media creation.

“Love jihad is a media creation. It is purely an issue concerning exploitation of women. We oppose it. No BJP leader has ever used this word,” he said.

On the issue of Ram temple, he said, the BJP’s views are very clear that it can come up only through two means – either it will be constructed through consensus or through a court verdict.

Shah reiterated the party’s resolve to make the country ‘Congress-free’ by 2019 and said the party will make this happen through its organisational strength in which the opposition party’s ‘weakness’ will also aid it.

On the issue of black money, Shah said, the BJP government has taken concrete steps and is moving in the right direction while keeping its promise of bringing back blackmoney stashed abroad.

“Be patient, allow us to work. We will surely bring the money back that will go into the state’s treasury. We don’t do votebank politics,” he said, adding that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the only PM to have raised the issue at the international level.

On allegations of RSS interference in BJP’s affairs, Shah said, “BJP takes its own decisions.”

On the growing RSS ranks in the party, he said, it has always been and cited examples of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, L K Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi. He said there is no harm if RSS membership is rising as it will do good to the country.

To a question on what plans the party has for Delhi, the BJP chief said the BJP will grow with public support and exuded confidence of forming the next government with a good majority.

“We do not decide on the mood of Lutyens Delhi or that of the media. Our confidence comes from the support of the people. I am sure BJP will form a majority government in Delhi after the elections,” he said.

Shah denied any link to Muzaffarnagar riots and Trilokpuri violence ahead of polls and sought to change perceptions towards BJP in the wake of reports that he would do anything to win elections.

“Riots used to take place earlier too. When Congress used to win, you never correlated riots with its victory. Now because we are winning, you see a link. We have nothing to do with riots. We work within Election Commission guidelines. You will see everything right if you change your perspective towards BJP,” he said.

He said the new government has brought about a lot of difference while dealing qwith Pakistan, be it stopping talks with separatists or giving a befitting reply to firing along the border which the Congress government never did.

“We do not form our foreign policy while compromising on India’s interests and neither to create an image in the media,” he said.

On the Agra conversions case, he said, an FIR has been lodged and the law will take its own course as court will decide on whether the conversions were done forcibly or not the media.

Shah maintained that there was a link up between the Burdwan blast accused and Trinamool Congress and challenged Mamata Banerjee to say in public that they are innocent. He said the BJP will never use CBI as a tool to meet its political ends which the Congress was using all along.

“The accused in the Saradha scam and Burdwan blast are linked to TMC. Let Mamataji say in public that these people are innocent,” Shah said

He rubbished talk that the Clean India campaign was providing a photo opportunity to celebrities and asked for inculcating a genuine culture for cleanliness.

“All BJP CMs are making a blueprint. All other CMs should rise above party politics and prepare a blueprint instead of considering Swachh Bharat as Modi’s political agenda,” he said.

The BJP chief said the party needs to renegotiate seats with Shiromani Akali Dal in Punjab in the wake of BJP’s growing strength.

Noting that he shared a good equation with Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, he said the BJP will try its best to retain the coalition and work for it.

He also said the BJP will contest the next election in West Bengal with an aim of forming a government and exuded confidence ion the party’s prospects there.

Shah said his party will win the the ongoing Jammu and Kashmir assembly polls as well as the West Bengal assembly elections scheduled for 2016.

Source: The Economic Times