BSP President Mayawati on Monday asked Uttar Pradesh's BJP government to reconsider its new anti-religious conversion ordinance apparently aimed at curbing cases of "love jihad". The law became applicable in the state last Saturday and a case has already been filed under it.
"The new ordinance introduced in haste by the UP government against love jihad is riddled with doubts since religious conversion through compulsion or fraud has found no acceptability or respectability anywhere in the country," The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief said today in a Hindi tweet.
"Several laws already exist in this connection. The BSP demands that the government reconsider the new law," Ms Mayawati said.
"Love jihad" is a derogatory term that refers to an alleged campaign by some Muslims to force Hindu girls to convert in the guise of love.
The former Chief Minister's statement came within days of the UP police filing a case against a Muslim man in Bareilly district for allegedly putting pressure on a Hindu woman to convert. The case was filed on Saturday, the same day Governor Anandiben Patel gave her assent to the Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance, 2020.
According to the new law, a marriage will be declared "null and void" if the conversion of a woman is solely for that purpose, and those wishing to change their religion after marriage need to apply to the district magistrate.
In recent weeks, BJP-run states like Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, and Madhya Pradesh have revealed plans to enact laws to counter alleged attempts to convert Hindu women to Islam in the guise of marriage.