Gandhinagar, Mar 15: As many as 1,735 Hindus in Gujarat sought state government's permission to convert to another religion in the last five years, Chief Minister Anandiben Patel told the Legislative Assembly here today.
Chief Minister, who also handles the state Home department, also informed the House that total 1,838 people from different parts of the state had applied for conversion in last five years.
"Out of these, the Home Department gave its consent to 878 applicants of different religions during that period," Patel added.
The Chief Minister was replying to a Congress MLA Tejashree Patel's written query seeking details of applications received by the state Home Department from citizens, who wish to embrace another religion, in the last five years (till October 2015).
Out of total 1,838 applicants, the highest number of applications- 1,735 - came from Hindus, followed by Muslims (57), Christians (42) and Parsis (4). No one from Sikh and Buddhist community applied for conversion during that period, Patel said in her written reply.
Highest number of applications from Hindus were received from Surat district (515), followed by Rajkot (388) and Porbandar (325).
Talking to reporters after the session, the Congress MLA told reporters that government should form a committee to find out the reasons behind such a high number of Hindu applicants.
"The state government should take this matter seriously and conduct a survey through a committee to find out why Hindus want to change their religion," Tejashree said.
Newly-elected state BJP chief Vijay Rupani demanded that the state government should act tough against conversion activities in the state.
"BJP firmly believes that religious conversion (of Hindus) must be stopped in the state. I request the government to take strict action against those who are involved in conversion activities," said Rupani, who is also the Road Transport Minister in Gujarat Government.