Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel
(PTI Photo)

Slamming the Bharatiya Janata Party-led states, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister and senior Congress leader Bhupesh Baghel on Saturday asked whether inter-religion marriages of family members of BJP leaders will fall under the definition of ''love jihad''.

"Family members of several BJP leaders have also performed inter-religion marriages. I ask BJP leaders if these marriages come under the definition of ''love jihad''?" asked Mr Baghel while addressing media.

The statement comes after Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had recently announced that his government will bring a strict law to curb "love jihad" and forcible religious conversion. Prior to this, Shivraj Singh Chouhan-led BJP government in Madhya Pradesh had said the state would soon have a law against ''love jihad''.

Some BJP-ruled states have announced plans to prevent so-called `Love Jihad' which refer to an alleged conspiracy to convert Hindu women by marrying them.

Union minister Girriaj Singh on Friday also favoured enactment of a legislation in Bihar against love jihad, which, he claimed, has become a menace in the country.

The firebrand BJP leader also urged the Nitish Kumar government to realize that issues like love jihad and population control had nothing to do with sampradayikta (communalism) but are about samajik samrasta (social harmony).

Love jihad has come to be realized as a menace in all states across the country - not just among Hindus but among all non-Muslims. In Kerala where Christians have a large population, members of the community have raised concern over this phenomenon, Singh told reporters in Patna.

This menace needs to be rooted out and it will be desirable if Bihar comes out with a legislation to prevent love jihad. The government in the state should realize that curbing love jihad and population control are linked to social harmony and do not tantamount to promoting communalism, said Singh, who is known for his hard line.

Congress leader and Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has accused the BJP of `manufacturing' the term Love Jihad and disrupting communal harmony.

(With inputs from agencies)

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