“Existing laws regarding conversion are sufficient,” Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan on Tuesday said even as BJP has been pushing for an anti-conversion bill in the wake of controversies triggered by some Hindutva groups.
Paswan, national president of key NDA ally LJP, at the same time made a strong defence of the government over the conversion row, asserting that neither Prime Minister Narendra Modi nor his government ever engaged in such issues after coming to power last May.
The Union Consumer Affairs Minister, who hails from Bihar and had participated in Janata Dal coalition government led by late V P Singh government, also dismissed the coming together of Samajwadi Party, Janata Dal United, RJD, JDS and other splinter groups of Janata Parivar and compared it with “snakes and scorpions coming together in a flood situation”.
To a specific question as to what is LJP’s stand on conversion and whether it favours bringing an anti-conversion law, he said that according to Article 25, everybody has a right of free profession, practice and propagation of religion and there are also provisions to check conversion by coercion and allurement if any.
“LJP’s stand is that the existing laws in this matter are sufficient… Government also says the same thing. As long as there is no consensus, it will not bring it (anti-conversion law). Our party’s view is that the existing law and sections in law are very clear about it,” Paswan told .
Paswan, who was a minister in UPA I government between 2004 and 2009, switched over to the NDA just ahead of Lok Sabha polls last year.
Responding to questions about controversial statements on conversion and others being made by some people in BJP and its sister organisations, he said, “Those, who are talking about it are not government. Neither the government is saying any such thing nor Prime Minister Modi talked about issues like Ram Temple, Article 370, Ghar wapasi or conversion.”