‘Love is love’: BJP's Pankaja Munde on ‘love jihad’ debate | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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‘Love is love’: BJP's Pankaja Munde on ‘love jihad’ debate

Jun 12, 2023 08:36 AM IST

Responding to a question on 'love jihad', BJP leader Pankaja Munde said, "Love sees no walls."

Bharatiya Janata Party national secretary Pankaja Munde on Sunday expressed her support for people coming together in love despite all barriers. Responding to a question on ‘love jihad’ during a press conference in Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh, Munde said that it was not part of the agenda of the ruling BJP government at the Centre. However, a woman being trapped in an inter-religious marriage is a matter of concern, she added.

BJP National Secretary Pankaja Munde addresses the media during a press conference.(HT_PRINT)
BJP National Secretary Pankaja Munde addresses the media during a press conference.(HT_PRINT)

Read: Maharashtra: BJP MLA demands law against ‘love jihad’, meets CM Shinde

The BJP leader continued, “I think love is love. Love sees no walls. If two people have come together purely out of love, it should be respected. However, if a woman is tricked into an interfaith marriage, it should be seen differently.”

Munde, the daughter of former Union minister Gopinath Munde, asserted that the Narendra Modi-led government’s initiatives were centred around development. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi's focus is to put the country on the road to development and progress in the next 25 years," said Munde.

Read: Munde says will discuss grievances with Shah; CM camp says ready to take her in

Munde’s comments come days after she hinted at differences with her party by saying that she belongs to the BJP but it doesn’t belong to her.

She also praised Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan's Ladli Behna Yojana which gives 1,000 each to 1.25 crore women in the state.

Meanwhile, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leader Indresh Kumar on Sunday came out strongly against ‘love jihad’. Addressing a press conference in Bhopal, the senior leader of the Hindu nationalist organisation said that ‘scams’ disguised as love will not be tolerated.

“Today love is being maligned. India was, is and will remain the land of love. Murder and conversion are happening in the name of love and people have called it love jihad. We condemn fraud and violence in the name of love,” news agency ANI quoted him in a statement.

Notably, Munde's statement stands in stark contrast to the orders of Chouhan, who had announced that his government will crack down on 'love jihad' and 'religious conversion' in the state.

"...What is clear is that we have taken the issue of love jihad, religious conversion and promotion of terrorist activities very seriously. I want to make it clear that neither love jihad nor the vicious cycle of religious conversion would be tolerated in the state," CM Chouhan said earlier.

While the Eknath Shinde-Devendra Fadnavis government in Maharashtra is already contemplating legislation against ‘love jihad’, several BJP-ruled states like Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Uttarakhand and Haryana have already passed a law on similar lines against forceful conversions.

‘Love jihad’ is a term used by right-wing activists and organizations that allege a concerted effort by Muslim men to convert Hindu women to Islam through interfaith marriages. The courts in India and the central government do not officially recognise this term.

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