Opposition today created uproar in Lok Sabha over the issue of religious conversion in Agra, prompting the government to say it was ready to build a consensus on having a legislation on conversion.
As soon as the House met for the day, Opposition members belonging to Congress, TMC, SP, RJD and AAP came to the Well demanding suspension of Question Hour to discuss the issue of alleged religious conversions and re-conversions.
Speaker Sumitra Mahajan declined to suspend Question Hour, saying she would allow Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge to speak during Zero Hour and if necessary allow a discussion.
Her repeated pleas did not yield any result and the opposition continued to protest and raise the slogan ‘Hindu, Muslim, Sikhs bhai bhai’.
While members belonging to NCP, AIMIM and Left parties kept protesting from aisle, the Question Hour continued with most of the questions being taken up.
Acknowledging that it is a serious issue, Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said, “Government is ready to discuss and build a consensus on having a legislation on (religious) conversion.”
Kharge said the matter should be taken up as a special case. “It is a very, very serious matter and there is threat to the unity of the country,” he said.
He said religious conversions are happening and everybody is giving statements outside the House and even encouraging such things.
Countering the allegation, Naidu said, “There is no problem to safety, unity and integrity of the country… Don’t politicise the issue.”
SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav also spoke something which was not audible.
As the din continued, the Speaker said proper notice should be given as the government has already expressed its willingness to discuss the matter.
“You are interested in slogans only, you are not interested in discussions… This is not the proper way,” she told the protesting members.
With the Speaker not accepting the opposition demand, Kharge wondered whether the discussion should take place on the streets.
As the pandemonium continued, Mahajan adjourned the House for 10 minutes till 12.05 PM.