With the government facing opposition heat over the conversion issue, Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said on Wednesday neither the NDA government nor Prime Minister Narendra Modi have got anything to do with the matter.
“Development is the main agenda of NDA government and the Prime Minister and his government have nothing to do with issues like Article 370, Ram Janmabhoomi, conversion and “ghar vapsi”, he told reporters.
Making it clear that his Lok Janshakti Party was against forcible conversion, the Minister for Food and Public Distribution said voluntary conversion was not a crime in the country.
To a question on ghar vapsi, he said the issue was not conversion or reconversion. It is whether forcible or not. “Voluntary conversion to a religion is not a crime”, he said.
Asked why Modi was silent on the conversion issue, he said opposition disrupted and did not allow Parliament to function to have a discussion on the issue. “How can the Prime Minister reply if opposition disrupted Parliament”, he asked.
“Modi is a strong Prime Minister and not influenced by RSS,” Paswan said to a question whether the saffron outfit dictated terms to Prime Minister.
Slamming Janata Parivar’s merger move, Paswan said, “The only agenda of these parties was vote bank and nothing to do with social justice or secularism”.
“How can the parties that failed to have any poll impact on their neighbouring state Jarkhand in the recent assembly polls could play any role in the national politics”, he said.
Paswan said efforts of the Janata Parivars to form a “single party” would not materialise as it was difficult for the leaders to reach consensus for the post of ‘President’.