Ban on conversion an infringement of fundamental right: Congress

Digvijay said it would be improper to ban conversion if any individual wanted to willfully convert to another religion.

By: Press Trust of India | New Delhi | Published:December 11, 2014 3:38 pm

Congress leader Digvijay Singh on Thursday slammed the government for suggesting that a legislation to ban religious conversions can be brought in if all parties agree, saying it was an infringement of fundamental rights.

The Congress general secretary said it would be improper to ban conversion if any individual wanted to willfully convert to another religion.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said the NDA Government is open to a detailed discussion in the Parliament on the issue of conversion and if all parties agree it could even bring a legislation to ban conversions.

“Can Mr Naidu stop anyone from converting willingly to any other religion. It will be an infringement of fundamental rights conferred by the Constitution. It is the fundamental right of an individual to choose his/her religion.

“However, by giving any benefit and luring anyone to change religion is a crime and it should remain so,” Singh told reporters outside Parliament.

The Congress leader also asked the Samajwadi Party-led Government in Uttar Pradesh to register an FIR against those involved in forcible reconversions in Agra.

“The SP is in power in Uttar Pradesh. It should register an FIR and make arrests of those involved (in reconversions).

“We are all waiting to see how much courage does Akhilesh Yadav ji have…how many people does he arrest and how much strictness he brings in,” Singh said.

The AICC general secretary alleged it was a “political strategy” of the RSS and the BJP to spread political tensions by organising such events, which have helped them reap political benefits.

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