Siddaramaiah, Old Pension Scheme (OPS) New Pension Scheme (NPS)
A file photo of Siddaramaiah.

Will not allow Karnataka govt to pass anti-conversion Bill: Siddaramaiah

Senior Congress leader Siddaramaiah on Friday (December 17) accused the BJP-ruled state government of trying to divert the attention of the people from real issues by bringing in emotive ones like ‘Love Jihad’ and ‘Anti Conversion’ with an aim to implement its “hidden agenda”.

Stating that he is confident that the Congress will sweep the 2023 Assembly polls in the state, Siddaramaiah, the Leader of the Opposition in the state assembly, said that his party will not allow the anti-conversion bill, which the government plans to introduce in the ongoing winter session of legislature, to be passed.

Also read: Karnataka mulls punishment for forced conversion under new Bill

“Hundred per cent we will come back (to power after 2023 assembly polls). During the MLC polls from local authorities constituencies we got about 44,000 out of total 94,000 votes, while BJP got about 37,000, JD(S) got some 10,000,” Siddaramaiah told reporters, adding that the numbers indicate that people want the Congress to come to power.

Alleging that the BJP wants to divert the attention of people from real issues by making attempts such as bringing in anti-conversion law, Siddaramaiah said, “is there a need for it? There is no need. If there is forced conversion, file a complaint against those involved and punish them. There is a law already.”

Pointing at Hosadurga BJP MLA Goolihatti Shekhar’s claim that religious conversions by force or through inducement have become rampant and that his own mother is a victim of such act, he asked, “did he or his mother file a complaint?”

Asked whether the Congress would scrap the law on coming to power, Siddaramaiah said, “we will first stop the law from being passed now…let’s see (what is to be done on coming to power if it is passed now).”

The proposed anti-conversion bill that is also being opposed by Christian community leaders is expected to come before the Cabinet on Monday and once cleared there it is likely to be introduced in the legislative assembly and council.

The bill is expected to have penal provisions, and may also insist that the persons who wish to convert to another faith file an application before the Deputy Commissioner two months prior. Also, the person who wishes to convert is likely to lose the religion of his or her origin and facilities or benefits attached with it, including reservations; however, one is likely to receive the benefits entitled to, in the religion he or she converts to.

Also read: Anti-conversion bill likely to be accepted, not aimed at Christians: Bommai

Meanwhile defending the proposed anti-conversion bill, BJP national general secretary and MLA C T Ravi said, religious conversion should not become the mode to garner votes, as he called on Congress leaders including Siddaramaiah to read history and try to know about Mahatma Gandhi’s views on it.

Claiming that Mahatma Gandhi too had opposed religious conversion, he said, “the Congress which claims that they follow Gandhi’s and not Godse’s Hindutva, let them read history and see what Gandhi had to say about conversion, Siddaramaiah please read history once.”

(With inputs from agencies)

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