Bhubaneswar, Sep 21: Stating that conversion was the root cause behind social strife throughout the country, BJP national vice-president Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday, Sep 21 demanded a ban on it.
Mr Naidu, who stopped over here for a few minutes on his way to Icchapur in connection with the Leader of Oppostion in Lok Sabha L K Advani's Sankalp Yatra on October 23, told newspersons that sooner the ban was enforced the better it would be for the country.
The BJP leader said conversion by inducement or offering money was against the Constitution and regretted that some ''so-called secularists were supporting conversion.'' He said his party would ask the Centre to formulate a national anti-conversion law, adding that if the UPA government failed to do so his party would do it after coming to power.
Mr Naidu criticised the Centre for threatening to issue an advisory under Article 355 of the Constitution to Orissa and Karnataka governments ''under the garb of failure of the state governments to check communal violence and maintain law and order.'' He alleged that the UPA government was behaving in a partisan manner, guided by political considerations, and dared the Centre to ''proceed further with the threat and face the consequences.'' Mr Naidu also criticised the Centre for maintaining ''double standards'', saying, ''The UPA government did not think of issuing advisory notes when total lawlessness prevailed in Singur and the constitutional machinery collapsed after the massacre in Assam.'' The BJP leader said law and order was a state subject and both the governments in Orissa and Karnataka were doing their best to control it.
He said the situation in Orissa and Karnataka should be viewed in totality, adding that ''one should go to the root cause of the problem.''
Mr Naidu demanded that the killer of Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati and the people responsible for the unrest, both in Orissa and Karnataka, should be booked and punished. He said the Sangha Parivar and the BJP should not be blamed for the attack on places of worship. The Centre, Mr Naidu alleged, was soft on terrorists but hard on nationalists. ''Some people have more faith in the ISI than in the RSS,'' he remarked.
''Though the government knew that terrorist activities were sponsored from across the border, it took no action and failed to formulate an alternative to POTA,'' he said.
The Centre, he further alleged, was soft on SIMI activists inside the country.
During the rule of the UPA government, he alleged that more than a thousand innocent people were killed in 102 terrorist attacks.
''The UPA government has no policy and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has been making parrot-like statements, condoling the deaths after every terrorist incident,'' Mr Naidu said.
He said the people were aggrieved with the ''lacklustre performance and failure of the UPA government.'' The UPA government, he alleged, failed to check price rise as well as terrorist activites.