Karnataka state cabinet approves anti-conversion ‘love jihad’ bill

Bengaluru: The contentious ‘Karnataka Protection of Right to religion bill, 2021’ was approved by the Karnataka Cabinet on Monday. It will presumably be tabled in the state Assembly on Tuesday. The bill is modelled around the anti-conversion law in Uttar Pradesh.

Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Monday asserted that the ruling BJP will not allow religious conversion of helpless people in the state.

Speaking at a function organized by the Vishwa Hindu Parishath (VHP), he said that his government would soon bring in anti-conversion laws. “Innocent people are being converted across the state. They are lured by money and financial assistance,” he said.

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Religious conversions are not merely about increasing the number of people. The mindset has to be changed. What appears to be luring initially will eventually affect society. “Our government, our nation will not allow such thing to happen. There is an attempt to encash poverty in our society,” he reiterated.

“As per law, there is no provision that facilitates luring people for conversions. There is no scope for this in the Constitution. The people who are opposing the anti-conversion bill were ready to implement it in 2019. Now, they are bound by political compulsions,” he added.

There has been severe criticism against the bill in the past owing to fear that the same could be used to target minorities in India.

If the Karnataka government introduces the bill in the assembly and becomes successful in passing it into law, it will be the 9th state to do so.

(With agency inputs)

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