Free Press Journal

Anti-conversion bill if ‘secular parties’ support: Amit Shah


Bhubaneswar: Showing keenness on a general consensus the issue of stopping forceful religious conversion, BJP President Amit Shah today said a bill can be brought in parliament for the purpose if “so called” secular parties extend support.

“Our stand on religious conversion is quite clear. BJP is in favour of a halt to forcible conversion. There needs to be a consensus on the issue,” Shah told reporters here while winding up his two-day Odisha visit.

An anti-conversion bill can be brought in the Parliament if the “so called” secular political parties extend their support to such a measure as there is need to have a consensus on the issue,” the BJP President said.

Emphasising that BJP has always been opposed to forcible conversion, Shah said the central government can work on a comprehensive bill if there is a general consensus after proper discussion and deliberations.

On the question of government formation in Jammu and Kashmir, Shah expressed optimism about early resolution to the present impasse and said the party was in the process of holding negotiations.

“No decision has been taken on Jammu and Kashmir so far, but negotiations are on and a clear picture on Government formation will emerge soon,” he said.

The Jammu and Kashmir Governor has set January 19 deadline for formation of the government in the state where PDP has emerged as the largest party with 28 seats in the 87-member Assembly but way short of a majority. BJP is the second largest party with 25 members.

Regarding Justice M B Shah Commission’s recommendation for a CBI probe into mining scam in Odisha and Goa, the BJP chief said everything will become clear as soon as the action taken report (ATR) is received.

Dismissing suggestions that the BJP-led NDA Government was sitting over commission’s report, Shah said, “Everything will be dealt with. Let the ATR come.”

Asked about urgency for the centre to go for ordinance to amend the Land Acquisition Act, Shah said the move was necessary for the development of the country.

Listing achievements of the Narendra Modi Government during the last seven months, the BJP President said besides containing inflation, the NDA has taken concrete steps for bringing back black money stashed abroad.

Details about 700 foreign bank accounts have been given to the supreme court appointed SIT, he said adding there are certain legal and diplomatic hurdles and Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken initiatives to deal with the problem.

The planning commission has been replaced by NITI Aayog in order to meet the dynamic requirements of every state, which would now get adequate participation in the decision process, Shah said adding it would immensely benefit the federal set up.