Belagavi: The controversial “anti-conversion bill”, which the Bharatiya Janata Party government in Karnataka plans to implement, has been taken up for consideration and passage in the state Legislative Assembly today, and as expected has stir a major resistance from the Opposition, especially the Congress party.
Titled ‘Karnataka Protection of Right to Freedom of Religion Bill, 2021’, the bill was introduced in the Assembly on Tuesday. It was earlier expected to be taken up for consideration on Wednesday evening, but the House, with the consent of all parties, decided to take it up today.
Siddaramaiah has made his party’s stand clear that they are opposed to the bill and will vehemently object to it. The Bill has also faced massive resistance from Christian community leaders and the Janata Dal (Secular).
Immediately after the bill was tabled on Tuesday, the Congress raised protests and called it “draconian and anti-constitution”.
However, the Karnataka law minister today targetted Siddaramaiah and said, “It was during the Siddaramaiah regime in 2013 when the law department had prepared this bill on anti-conversion and the same has been taken forward. The bill just didn’t reach the Assembly back then. The law ministry in 2013 during Siddaramaiah regime prepared a draft of this bill. The same bill with slight changes is being proposed by us.”
Siddaramaiah disagreed and said that the then law minister denied initiating such a bill.
But, the Speaker read out a document that proved that the Siddaramaiah, who was the CM back then, had asked the draft to be presented before the state Cabinet.
Siddramaiah then agreed on the floor that he had signed a document allowing the draft of an anti-conversion bill. However, the Cabinet never took up the matter or took it forward, he claimed.
“We know the situation of SCs/STs. They are ignored and remain vulnerable. Our intention behind bringing this bill is to protect the SC/ST communities and women,” Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said.