ANI Photo | “If two people come together out of love…”: BJP’s Pankaja Munde on ‘love jihad’

Responding to a media query on ‘love jihad’, BJP leader Pankaja Munde said on Sunday it wasn’t on the agenda of the central government.
Addressing a press conference in Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh, Munde said, “…I believe love is love. Love believes in no barrier. 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.”
To a specific question on ‘love jihad’ during the press conference, the senior BJP leader said it has never been an agenda for the central government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“No such subject as ‘love jihad’ has even been on the agenda of the Modi government. The discussions are always centred on development and redevelopment. 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.
However, on May 16, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said his government took a serious view of ‘love jihad’, ‘religious conversion’ and promotion of ‘terrorist activities’ and won’t allow such practices in the state.
CM Chouhan made the remark while speaking to reporters on the recent action taken by the Madhya Pradesh Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) against members associated with the radical Islamic organisation, Hizb-ut-Tahrir (HuT), in the state capital Bhopal.
“We are getting into the depth of the facts that have come to the fore in connection with the HuT members. 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.
He added, “Earlier, too, we had destroyed SIMI’s (Students’ Islamic Movement of India) network in the state and will not tolerate such activities at any cost. The investigation into the arrest of HuT members is underway. Madhya Pradesh ATS is working along with the central agencies in this regard.”
Ahead of the Gujarat Assembly elections last year, the BJP had promised to bring a law against ‘love jihad’.
Meanwhile, underlining the key takeaways in 9 years of the central government under the leadership of PM Modi, Munde said on Sunday these years have been marked by all-round development and welfare policies.

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