New Delhi: The Congress on Tuesday claimed that the issue of conversions was "part of larger diversionary tactics" of BJP even as it attacked the saffron party for trying to shift the attention away from the fundamental issues of governance.
Congress spokesperson Randip Surjewala's charge against the government came on a day when proceedings in Rajya Sabha were washed out as a united opposition created an uproar over conversions and pressed for an assurance from Prime Minister Narendra Modi that such acts would not be allowed.
"The conversion issue is nothing but a part of a larger diversionary plan of BJP and other organisations affiliated to it to divert attention from the fundamental issues of governance, their U-turns on promises made earlier, rising prices, the downturn of the economy and the prime minister failing personally to fulfil his commitments.
"The second reason is that they are making an attempt to polarise society along communal lines for petty political gains. Such attempts should be condemned outright," he said.
Asked to comment on whether or not BJP MPs are listening to Modi, Surjewala said that the Prime Minister should ensure that he himself and BJP chief Amit Shah acted as they spoke.
"Shah went to West Bengal and talked about involvement of some from the state government in Burdwan blast. Within 24 hours, a minister in PMO rejected it. The Prime Minister says one thing in Jammu and something else in Kashmir," he said while drawing attention to controversial remarks recently by BJP leaders Giriraj Singh and Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti.
Surjewala also slammed the proposal for the bringing of an anti-conversion bill, saying those who talk about such things have no knowledge of the Constitution, which guarantees fundamental rights.
The Congress spokesperson, however, parried questions when told that it was the government led by former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi which had in 1981 asked states to enact a law in this regard on the line of what Madhya Pradesh had passed by then and that half-a-dozen states in the country already have anti-conversion laws in some form.
Surjewala said that Congress did not look at the issue of conversion from the prism of a particular religion and held that there are provisions for action against allurement and intimidation.
Updated Date: Dec 16, 2014 22:08:50 IST