Bharatiya Janata Party MLA CT Ravi on Thursday said that the anti-conversion bill will be passed in the Karnataka Legislative Council as no one supports conversion.
However, Congress MLC Nagaraj termed religious conversion a “private matter” and a person’s right of choice.
“The (anti-conversion) bill will pass in the numbers game as well. No one supports conversion and we will not be scared of the mafia. The bill should pass,” Ravi said.
“It is unfortunate as there are so many issues in state after floods. What is the urgency of doing such things? They want to polarise… this is not acceptable to people as they want to live in brotherhood. It is their right of choice, is a private matter,” Congress MLC Nagaraj had said.
Earlier, BJP MLC DS Arun had expressed his confidence that even the Congress and JDS would support this and everything shall go smoothly.
“Even Congress and JDS must support this bill introduced. Everything should go smoothly. It was passed in the lower house, doing it in the upper house now. We’re all enthusiastic it will be passed and it is one of the most awaited bills,” DS Arun had said.
The political opinions came while the Basavaraj Bommai government is likely to table the anti-conversion Bill in the Karnataka Legislative Council today.
Last year in December, amid a ruckus by the opposition, the Protection of Right to Freedom of Religion Bill, 2021 or anti-conversion Bill was passed in the Karnataka Legislative Assembly but due to the lack of majority, the Prohibition of Conversion Bill was not presented in the Council.
The government has decided to present the proposal in the Karnataka Legislative Council today and Congress is likely to oppose the bill but since BJP has a majority, the possibility of passing the bill has increased.
The Bill will provide for the protection of the right to freedom of religion and prohibition of unlawful conversion from one religion to another by misrepresentation, force, undue influence, coercion, allurement or any fraudulent means.
The bill introduced by the BJP government gives the right to any person to file a complaint against religious conversion, protecting the right to freedom of religion in the state.
It proposes imprisonment of up to 10 years for forced religious conversion and the offence is made to be non-bailable and cognizable.
According to the new law, in the case of any converted person, his or her parents, brother, sister, or any other person who is related by blood, marriage, adoption, or in any form associated, or colleague may file a complaint of such conversion.
The bill has the purpose of prohibiting unlawful conversion of religion, providing protection to those who were forced to convert from one religion to another by misrepresentation, force, undue influence, coercion, allurement, the promise of marriage, or by any fraudulent means and for the matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
“No person shall convert or attempt to convert, either directly or otherwise, any other person from one religion to another by use or practice of force, undue influence, coercion, allurement or by any fraudulent means or by any other means or promise of marriage, nor shall any person abet or conspire such conversion,” the Bill stated.
Notably, the bill was introduced by the BJP government in the Karnataka Assembly last year after which it sparked controversy and was opposed by Opposition parties in the state. (ANI)