Home News ‘Love Jihad’ a BJP Creation, Marriage Matter of Personal Liberty, Says CM Gehlot as 4 States Mull Law

‘Love Jihad’ a BJP Creation, Marriage Matter of Personal Liberty, Says CM Gehlot as 4 States Mull Law

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Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot on Friday tore into the ‘love jihad’ controversy and accused the BJP of “manufacturing” the phrase to divide the nation along communal lines. He said marriages, including inter-faith unions, are a matter of personal liberty and any law to curb them would not stand in court.

Gehlot’s comments come amid plans in four BJP-ruled states – Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Karnataka – to outlaw what the respective governments and the BJP call ‘love jihad’.

“Love Jihad is a word manufactured by BJP to divide the Nation & disturb communal harmony. Marriage is a matter of personal liberty, bringing a law to curb it is completely unconstitutional & it will not stand in any court of law. Jihad has no place in Love (sic),” Gehlot said on Twitter.

Hitting back at Gehlot, Union minister and BJP leader Gajendra Singh Shekhawat said ‘love jihad’ in a “trap”. “Dear Ashok ji, Love Jihad is a trap that has thousands of young women believing the marriage is a personal affair, where later it turns out it isn’t. Also, if it is a matter of personal liberty, then why are the women not free to keep their maiden name or religion?” he tweeted.

“Since congress wants to support this act of deceit under the garb of personal liberty, isn’t it becomes a blatant display of its communal agenda,” Shekhawat added.

In Uttar Pradesh, the home department has sent a proposal to the Department of Law for a ‘love jihad’ legislation. The law department will work out the legal modalities after which the government is likely to issue an ordinance.

UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had said in a by-election meeting in Jaunpur in October that his government was planning a strict law against so-called ‘love jihad’.

The Shivraj Singh Chouhan government in Madhya Pradesh has also said the state would soon have a law against ‘love jihad’. Chouhan’s Home Minister Narottam Mishra has said non-bailable charges would be applicable in cases of ‘love jihad’ in Madhya Pradesh.

“We are making preparations to introduce Madhya Pradesh Freedom of Religion Bill, 2020 in Assembly. It will provide for 5 years of rigorous imprisonment. We are also proposing that such crimes be declared a cognizable and non-bailable offence,” Narottam Mishra had said.

In Haryana, home minister Anil Vij had announced that a committee will be setup to draft a “strict” law against “love jihad”. The home minister, according to the statement, said that “with the enactment of this law, strict action will be taken against any person who is found indulging in religious conversion by pressuring, tempting someone or is involved in any kind of conspiracy or tries to do so in the name of love”.

Karnataka chief minister BS Yediyurappa, too, said his government is already in talks with experts to frame a law that will ban religious conversions for marriages.

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