‘Will oppose ordinance on religious conversions in assembly’: Akhilesh Yadav

Updated on Nov 28, 2020 07:28 PM IST

The state cabinet on Tuesday had approved the Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance-2020 to curb coercive, forcible, dishonest religious conversions.

Filr photo: Former Uttar Pradesh chief minister and Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav.(PTI)
Filr photo: Former Uttar Pradesh chief minister and Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav.(PTI)
Hindustan Times, Lucknow | By

In his first response to the ordinance on unlawful religious conversion on Saturday, Samajwadi Party (SP) national president and former chief minister Akhilesh Yadav said that his party would oppose it in the assembly when placed for passage. He asked why could not the government bring ordinances for improving farmers’ income or giving employment to the unemployed.

The state cabinet on Tuesday had approved the Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance-2020 to curb coercive, forcible, dishonest religious conversions, including those for the sake of marriage, which could land violators in jail for up to 10 years.

Governor Anandiben Patel gave assent to the ordinance on Saturday. Now, it will be presented in the state legislature for passage.

Yadav made the statement at a press conference at the party state headquarters on Saturday afternoon in response to a question on the ordinance. The former chief minister said, “The Samajwadi Party is not in favour of any such law. We will oppose it (when it comes to the assembly).” He also sought to know its relevance when the state had schemes to encourage inter-caste and inter-faith marriages wherein it had a provision to give 50,000 to such couples.

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“Instead, why can’t the government bring an ordinance for the betterment of farmers’ income or employment for unemployed? The government does not want to debate on more important issues due to which it brought the ordinance. The government is creating hatred and rift in society,” he said.

Akhilesh attacked the BJP government over using batons, tear gas and water cannons on the protesting farmers and said that his party extended support to the farmers’ protest against the Centre’s farm laws.

Akhilesh alleged, “This is the government that had been promising to double farmers’ income. And see what it is doing. No other government has committed as many atrocities on farmers as this government.”

“Fake cases are being lodged against political leaders,” he alleged.

To a question on corruption charges against his party leader Azam Khan, Akhilesh Yadav said he had been targeted as he had done some good work.

“Only time will tell about the corruption and loot taking place under the BJP rule,” he said.

Akhilesh held the press conference to announce joining of a former Aligarh MP Chaudhary Brijendra Singh from Congress, a former MLA Zamirullah Khan from Aligarh constituency and few other leaders to the SP.

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