Conversions: Oppn wants PM to reply

New Delhi: The Rajya Sabha on Monday witnessed repeated adjournments as the Opposition pressed for an immediate debate on the issue of conversion and clamoured for a reply from Prime Minister Narendra Modi. However, the government was equally adamant that Home Minister Rajnath Singh would give the reply.

Leader of the House Arun Jaitley tried to reach out to the Opposition and said the government was ready for a debate on any issue; he even asked the Opposition if it wanted a “total ban on religious conversion or forced conversion”, either of which was acceptable to the government.

But the opposition was not ready to relent unless Prime Minister Modi participated in the debate.

Jaitley, in turn, rejected the opposition’s stand, saying they did not want a debate, but only to disrupt the House. “In the morning they wanted suspension of agenda to discuss this issue, we agreed…some people only want to disrupt the House,” he said.

The issue is expected to echo in the House on Tuesday as well. Government sources, however, said they will table the insurance bill in the upper house in any case.

Sources in the BJP said there is no possibility of the prime minister coming to the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday as well as he is busy campaigning for the assembly elections in Jharkhand and Jammu and Kashmir, where the last round will take place on December 20.

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