Opposition Congress to oppose Conversion Bill in Rajasthan Assembly

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Jaipur, Mar 14 (UNI) The Opposition Congress will oppose the controversial anti-coversion bill being moved again by the BJP government in the Rajasthan Assembly in revised form following non-clearance of the earlier Bill from the Raj Bhavan and the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

The proposed Rajasthan Dharma Swatantriya Bill being brought by the BJP government for prevention of "forced conversion" was introduced in the Rajasthan Assembly yesterday and is scheduled to be discussed and passed in the House on March 20 next week.

Congress state president CP Joshi has criticised the Vasundhara government for again bringing the Bill "on dictates from RSS leadership" despite the then Governor's refusal to accord approval to the earlier Bill passed by the state Assembly in March last year.

Mr Joshi said that since the earlier Bill was still pending before the President for her assent, it was not appropriate on the part of the government to bring the new Bill.

The previous Bill was passed in the Assembly in March last year amid strong protests from the opposition Congress and was subsequently sent to the Raj Bhavan for the Governor's consent.

However, then Governor Pratibha Patil had expressed her inability in according her consent and had referred the same back to the government in May 2007. The state government then resent the Bill with due clarifications but Ms Patil instead of acccording her consent had referred the same to the President in June 2007.

Since then the Bill was pending before the President for assent.

In the meantime, amid difference of opinions within the ruling BJP, the Raje government decided to bring the Bill in revised form on the lines of the Act which presently is said to be in force in Himachal Pradesh.

UNI SS AM RS1423

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