Will ban 'love jihad' at any cost: Karnataka BJP minister R Ashoka

R Ashoka's statement comes after former CM Siddaramaiah said that the Congress would oppose a bill to ban religious conversion for the sake of marriage.
Minister R Ashoka
Minister R Ashoka
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Karnataka Revenue Minister R Ashoka on Wednesday said that the government is “determined” to ban love jihad in the state. Addressing the press in Mandya district’s KR Pete, R Ashoka said that “love jihad is a threat to women in Karnataka”. Ashoka also lashed out against Leader of Opposition of the Karnataka Assembly, Siddaramaiah, who had said that the Congress would oppose the BJP government’s proposed legislation to ban “love jihad”. 

“Who is Siddaramaiah to stop us from banning love jihad? It is the BJP government, which is in power. We are very sure about our decision to ban it,” he said. On Tuesday, former CM Siddaramaiah had met a delegation of members from the Muslim community who expressed fear of persecution if the government introduces a legislation banning “love jihad”. 

 “Love is different. Love jihad is different. Muslim men make women from other faiths fall in love and marry them. They get married two or three more times in the same year. This is done to force women to convert to Islam. This is love jihad.  We will stop it at any cost. We will ban love jihad and we will send those who are doing this to jail,” R Ashoka said. 

“If such a law is passed, we will take it to the court. The law will get dismissed in court as it is unconstitutional. If the government goes ahead with bringing in such a law despite it being against the constitution, it will prove the true intentions of the government. It will only prove the malicious intent of the BJP to disturb peace in the society,” Siddaramaiah had said.

Last month Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa had said that his government would bring in a legislation very soon to ban religious conversion for the sake of marriage. Karnataka Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai too had said the government was considering such a legislation.

R Ashoka’s statement comes even as Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister JC madhuswamy said that no such proposal to ban religious conversion for the sake of marriage has been put forth on the government’s agenda for the winter session of the Assembly. He said that if a proposal does come forth, then he would announce it. “So far no such proposal is there. Siddaramaiah is assuming that such a bill will be introduced during the winter session because he is a member of the scrutiny committee. He is only resorting to guess work,” Madhuswamy said. 

The love jihad  idea propagated by right-wing groups who alleged that members of the Muslim community were marrying women from other religious faiths and forcing them to convert to Islam. However, officially there has been no case registered in the state thus far. 

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