The BJP has avoided including “love jihad” and “religious conversion of Hindu girls” in its political agenda for the 2017 Assembly polls drafted during the state executive meeting that concluded in Vrindavan Sunday. The issues were dropped after The Indian Express recently carried a report in this regard, sources had confirmed earlier.
However, a “political resolution” that the party passed Sunday highlighted that “rape of women of a particular community and involvement of people from another particular community in these incidents in the state, is either a coincidence or it is being done in a planned manner; that is an issue of concern”. The resolution claimed that incidents of rape have increased by nearly 50 per cent in UP and more than 1,981 incidents of rape have occurred the 30 months of SP government.
The BJP also resolved that the state government was taking decisions against criminals on the basis of their caste and religion. Sources in the party said two leaders from Western UP had sought a discussion on “love jihad” and “conversion of Hindu girls to other religions, particularly Islam” at the meeting.
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But BJP state president Laxmikant Bajpai asked both of them to “keep quiet as both the issues were not included in the political agenda”.When asked, Bajpai denied any such demand was raised at the meeting.
In his address at the meeting on Saturday, Bajpai had stated that attempts were being made to convert Hindu girls to another religion in UP.
Asked about the party’s U- turn on the two issues, Bajpai said, “BJP has not taken a U-turn. The issues discussed by party office-bearers were passed by state executive Sunday and that is before you. You can draw any meaning from that resolution.”
Outside the hall where the meeting took place, BJP state general secretary and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s son Pankaj Singh admitted that conversion of Hindu girls was a serious issue in UP. “Do not go by the word ‘love jihad’. The way the Hindu girls are being converted to other religion, is a serious problem, and BJP will oppose it as a responsible political party,” Pankaj said.
Party national general secretary (organisation) Ramlal, who played the role of chief guest, sought “special” attention of the media and said communalism is a political issue for other political parties but not BJP.
“BJP never made communalism a propaganda for elections. It only raised problems of common man,” he said.
The resolution also made a demand for transparency in the functioning of madrasas in UP.