The issue of conversion of some Muslims in Agra rocked the Lok Sabha for the second day Thursday with Opposition members creating uproar and demanding immediate discussion on the matter, which they said could have grave consequences like causing riots.
The issue triggered a war of words between the Opposition and the treasury benches, even as the government expressed readiness for a debate and possible legislation on conversions.
As soon as the House met for the day, Opposition members belonging to Congress, TMC, SP, RJD and AAP came to the Well demanding suspension of Question Hour to discuss the issue.
Speaker Sumitra Mahajan declined to suspend the Question Hour, saying she would allow Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge to speak later during the Zero Hour and if necessary allow a discussion.
Her repeated pleas failed and the opposition continued to raise the slogan ‘Hindu, Muslim, Sikhs bhai bhai’
While members belonging to NCP, AIMIM and Left parties kept protesting from the aisle, the Question Hour continued with most of the questions being taken up.
Acknowledging that it is a serious issue, Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said, “Government is ready to discuss and build a consensus on having a legislation on (religious) conversion.”
Mr. Kharge said the matter should be taken up as a special case. “It is a very, very serious matter and there is threat to the unity of the country,” he said.
He said religious conversions are happening and everybody is giving statements outside the House and even encouraging such things.
Countering the allegation, Mr. Naidu said, “There is no problem to safety, unity and integrity of the country... Don’t politicise the issue.”