"I am not opposed to the inter-religious marriage between Muslim and Hindu couples so long as forced conversion of a partner is not involved," Modi told PTI on Thursday.
A couple belonging to different religions were free to marry each other with which neither he nor anybody should have any problem, but there must not be forced conversion of any partner or an organised bid in this regard which must be opposed vociferously, he said.
Modi, however, said that he would say nothing on party's Uttar Pradesh MP Yogi Adityanath. Adopting a contrarian view, Giriraj Singh said he stood behind Yogi Adityanath to the hilt and supported his views on 'love jihad'.
"I too am not opposed to love between adults of different religion, but when Muslim men resort to faking identity and changing name to marry a Hindu girl, it amounts to waging 'jihad' against the other community," he said. There were leaders in our own party like Syed Shahanwaz Hussain, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and others who married Hindu women, but none of them covered up their religion and identity, the BJP MP said.
In an apparent dig at Sushil Kumar Modi, Singh said that some (BJP leaders) were bleeding to get secular tag at a time when it should be our job to make people aware of social threat being posed by 'love jihad.' "We are bleeding to get secular tag, our job to make people aware of social threat and 'love jehad' is one of them, win or lose is secondary," he tweeted earlier in the day.
Singh also steadfastly defended Yogi Adityanath, an MP from Gorakhpur, saying that he could not be singled out for the debacle in the Assembly bypoll in Uttar Pradesh. "Yoginathji can't be responsible for UP debacle alone. Many go down in other states by changing stance and allegedly chanting secular, secular," he said in another tweet.