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BJP sees ‘love jihad’ battleground in UP
State unit calls conversions a big threat days after RSS wing starts campaign
Shahira Naim
Tribune News Service

Youth should be vigilant against ‘love jihad’. Why is the government lenient towards such people? Have they (youth of the minority community) got a licence to convert the girls of the majority community
Laxmikant Bajpai, up bjp chief

Tell me which Chief Minister has banned people from falling in love. Would you ban people from falling in love?... Every single issue in UP is being politicised to draw political mileage
Akhilesh Yadav, up cm

Lucknow, August 23
In communal riot-prone Uttar Pradesh, the BJP today decided to take up “love jihad” — a term coined by extreme Hindutva elements indicating luring of Hindu women by Muslims for conversion — as a major plank to corner the Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party government.

On the first day of the two-day BJP state executive meeting in Mathura today, the party decided to highlight the issue, calling it “an attack on the faith and belief of the Hindus”.

BJP state president Laxmikant Bajpai said the BJP would draft its future action plan to curb “love jihad”. Bajpai during a recent workers’ meeting had quoted the recent case of Faizabad where a Hindu girl was allegedly murdered by a Muslim youth.

The party’s decision to include “love jihad” in its agenda comes days after RSS wing Dharma Jagran Manch launched a campaign against the concept. On Raksha Bandhan, the manch started a seven-day campaign urging Hindus to help curb “love jihad” by asking girls not to “fall prey” to such youths who lure them into conversion.

This is the first time that “love jihad” is being highlighted by the BJP for political purposes — the RSS and extreme right frontal organizations have so far been raising the issue.

The concept is set to add fresh fuel to the already charged communal situation in Uttar Pradesh. The state witnessed 247 cases of communal violence last year.

Bajpai said recent incidents of communal tension in Saharanpur, Moradabad, Meerut, Ambedkar Nagar and Faizabad would also be taken up during the meet.

Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav reacted sharply to BJP allegation that his party was indulging in Muslim appeasement through promotion of “love jihad”. “Tell me which Chief Minister has banned people from falling in love.... Kya mohabbat pe pabandi laga dogey? (Would you ban people from falling in love?)” he said.

Addressing mediapersons in Lucknow, Yadav claimed he was not aware of the BJP state executive taking up “love jihad” during its Mathura meet.

“UP mein jitney bhi mamley hain, un pe rajneeti ho rahi hai (Every single issue in UP is being politicised to draw political mileage),” he added.





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