All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi targeted the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over the implementation of anti-conversion laws in the states where it is in power. Owaisi, a lawmaker from Telangana, also highlighted that the BJP should instead make efforts for bringing ordinances in the agricultural sector or to give jobs to the country’s youth.
“There’s no definition of love jihad anywhere in the Constitution. BJP-ruled states are making a mockery of the Constitution through love jihad laws… If BJP-governed states want to make a law, then they should make a law for MSP (minimum support price) and providing employment,” Owaisi was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
Owaisi also alleged that the BJP is trying to interfere with the personal lives and choices of Indian citizens. He also said these ordinances violate fundamental rights. “Courts have reiterated that under the Constitution of India, under Article 21, 14 and 25, no government has any role to play in the personal life of any Indian citizen… The BJP is clearly indulging in violating fundamental rights of the Constitution,” Owaisi said.
The AIMIM leader’s comments came after the BJP government led by chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan in Madhya Pradesh approved the Dharma Swatantrata (Religious Freedom) Ordinance, 2020 to curb cases of ‘love-jihad’ in the state.
Several BJP-ruled states want to bring an anti-conversion law in the state which will prohibit conversion into another religion for the sake of marriage. The laws have already been passed in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh is the second state in the country to have passed the laws. Karnataka lawmakers in November have also expressed their intention to table a bill and pass the laws in the state.
Under these new laws, several men have been arrested in Uttar Pradesh over the past few weeks. Members of several right-wing parties and groups believe that the laws will decrease instances of love jihad, which they say happens when Muslim men convert Hindu women to Islam under the pretext of marriage.
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