Karnataka: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led government is expected to table controversial bills in the winter session of Karnataka Assembly which includes the proposed legislation against religious conversions. The state government was planning to bring a separate law, distinct from the contentious anti-conversion bill, to curb love jihad!
According to V Sunil Kumar, state culture minister, “There is no doubt that the government will bring the anti-conversion bill in the on-going assembly session.” On demands from some ruling party leaders for anti-love jihad bill, Karnataka Chief Minister Basvaraj Bommai said all such suggestions would be considered.
Karanataka government is expected to introduce an anti-conversion bill with stringent punishments for those found guilty. The opposition Congress has said it will oppose the bill, which is yet to be cleared by the state’s law department. “The law department is studying the anti-conversion laws enacted in other states. A draft would be placed before the state cabinet which will be meeting in Belagavi. If the law department submits the draft then the bill will come up for discussion in the Belagavi session of the state legislature,” the CM said.
Similar laws have been introduced in other BJP-led states, including Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. Their validity has been challenged before the courts. Christian leaders, including the Archbishop of Bengaluru Peter Machado, have publicly spoken against such a law in Karnataka.
According to media reports, the draft bill is said to be mostly modelled around the UP Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance, 2020. It is being said that apart from stringent clauses such as 10-year jail term for forced religious conversions, the bill also has features like denial of reservation benefits to converted Christians!