The Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) has removed its controversial functionary in Western UP and Uttarkahand, Rajeshwar Singh, as the convenor of Dharm Jagran Manch, an affiliate of the RSS, which carries out programmes to re-convert people from other communities back to Hinduism.
Mr Singh had planned a mass conversion event, which the organisation calls "Ghar Wapasi", in Aligarh on December 25, but it was later called off after widespread condemnation of such event by Opposition parties.
While the RSS top brass has refused to comment on the reasons behind his removal, Mr Singh said that he has taken temporary leave from the organisation on account of his ill health. "I have voluntarily taken leave from the position as I am not well. I have been working for 36 years," he said.
"He may not be well. It happened after "Ghar Wapasi", doesn't mean it happened because of it," said RSS ideologue MG Vaidya.
Mr Singh had continued to make inflammatory statements and claimed that by 2021, Christianity and Islam would be wiped off from India.
The BJP has been targeted by a united Opposition in Parliament over conversions in Agra and other cities, allegedly by groups linked to the RSS. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has warned his partymen against controversial statements that are seen to have hurt the image of the government and the party.
The BJP is planning to bring in anti-conversion law across the country under which conversion by force or enticement will be punishable under law.
The religious conversion issue had paralysed the Rajya Sabha for over a week in December as the Opposition wanted Prime Minister Narendra Modi to clarify if his government supported such re-conversion or "Ghar Wapasi" programmes.