Home india-news Prioritise ‘love jihad’ over civic issues, says Karnataka BJP chief | Latest News India

Prioritise ‘love jihad’ over civic issues, says Karnataka BJP chief | Latest News India

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Prioritise ‘love jihad’ over civic issues, says Karnataka BJP chief | Latest News India

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Bengaluru Bharatiya Janata Party’s Karnataka unit president Nalin Kumar Kateel has advised his party workers to focus on fighting “love jihad” instead of “minor issues” like road and sewage problems, triggering a political slugfest in the state where elections are due later this year.

Addressing BJP cadre at ‘Booth Vijaya Abhiyana’ in Mangaluru on Monday, Kateel said: “Do not discuss small issues like roads and sewage…If you’re worried about your children’s future, and if you want to stop love jihad, then we need BJP. To get rid of love jihad, we need the BJP.”

Love jihad is a term used by right-wing organisations to refer to interfaith relationships between Muslim men and Hindu women.

Various BJP-ruled states like Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand have already passed laws penalising “forcible” conversions. In September last year, the Karnataka legislative council passed the Protection of Right to Freedom of Religion Bill, 2021, or anti-conversion bill, that imposes a heavy penalty, including jail terms up to 10 year and fines of 1 lakh, for conversion by “force, allurement or fraud”.

Right-wing organisations have, however, been demanding a separate law against “love jihad”. Last month, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), along with other organisations launched a helpline dedicated to address “love jihad” cases in Mangaluru.

Asserting that the BJP is the only party that can bring a law against “love jihad”, Kateel said: “BJP was the one that brought a law against cow slaughter, and which introduced a law against religious conversion. BJP will be the one which will bring in a law against love jihad.”

The opposition Congress slammed the remarks, accusing the ruling party of trying to polarise voters.

“This is a very bad message. This is proof that they are trying to spread hatred and break up the country rather than giving priority to development,” said DK Shivakumar, the state Congress chief.

“While we are focusing on development, job creation, hunger, price rise, they are just playing people on emotion,” he added.

Congress MLA Priyank Kharge, too, said that the BJP is trying to polarise the voters with nothing to show the people ahead of the assembly elections in the state. “The message is loud & clear by the BJP President. With nothing to showcase to the people, BJP will resort to polarizing the elections. One never hears BJP speak on development of state or about youth’s future,” Kharge tweeted.

The state BJP president also asked the party workers whether the people of Karnataka wanted a ‘Nava Karnataka’ (New Karnataka) or a “Karnataka with terrorists”. Calling Congress a “party of terrorists”, Kateel slammed KPCC president DK Shivakumar and said he had spoken in support of terrorists. He also claimed Congress leaders including Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar are corrupt.

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