Karnataka

Congress will revoke Anti-Conversion Bill in Karnataka within a week of coming to power or in first legislative session, says Siddaramaiah

Published : December 28, 2021 12:47 IST

Former Chief Minister of Karnataka Siddaramaiah. Photo: The Hindu Archives

"Our party is also opposed to forcible conversions or conversions by allurement or cheating but there are already provisions in the law to deal with such cases."

Speaking to mediapersons on December 27 in Bengaluru, Siddaramaiah, who is Leader of Opposition in the Karnataka Legislative Assembly, stated that the Congress would revoke the controversial Anti-Conversion Bill within a week of coming to power or in the first legislative session. "Our party is also opposed to forcible conversions or conversions by allurement or cheating but there are already provisions in the law to deal with such cases. But if a person converts after marriage to his or her partner’s religion, 10 years’ imprisonment is prescribed in the Anti-Conversion Bill. If a man or a woman falls in love with someone who practises a different religion and marries that person, is that conversion? To prevent this violates the tenets of the Constitution," said the former Chief Minister.

Siddaramaiah added, "There are several burning issues affecting the State like unemployment, corruption, hunger and impoverishment. The BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) government is just trying to distract people’s attention away from these pressing issues by bringing in this law. The ‘Anti-Conversion’ Bill is being brought merely to target one specific community. The BJP’s agenda is only to polarise voters by using this emotional issue."

The Karnataka Right to Freedom of Religion Bill, 2021, or the Anti-Conversion Bill, was passed in the Assembly on December 23. The Bill was not tabled in the Legislative Council as the BJP does not have a majority in the Upper House. According to sources, the BJP may use the ordinance route to implement the law before introducing the Bill in the Legislative Council in the next session when, with the entry of newly elected members, it hopes to have the numbers.

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