|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
BJP to organise reconversion show in Chhattisgarh
Sagar Kulkarni in Raipur | June 10, 2003 21:06 IST
The Bharatiya Janata Party is organising a massive reconversion programme in Raipur on June 23.
The move comes in the run up to the first ever assembly election in Chhattisgarh, a predominantly tribal state.
The Ghar Vapasi programme, a brainchild of BJP leader and Union Minister of State for Forests and Environment Dilip Singh Judeo, aims at bringing back to the Hindu fold the tribals who were converted to Christianity by missionaries operating in the state.
"Chhattisgarh, particularly the tribal belt, has been the target of Christian missionaries, who have been converting unsuspecting tribals under the garb of helping them," alleged Judeo. He has been on the campaign trail in northern regions of the state by undertaking a Parivartan Yatra.
He alleged that mass-scale conversions have taken place in the state ever since Ajit Jogi became the chief minister -- a sentiment echoed by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh in Delhi last week.
Alleging connivance on Jogi's part, RSS spokesman Ram Madhav had also demanded the state government enact an anti-conversion law on lines of similar legislation in Gujarat and Congress-ruled Madhya Pradesh.
"Conversions will be the main issue in the forthcoming election, apart from the misdeeds of the Jogi government," BJP vice-president Karuna Shukla said.
Interestingly, BJP had been consistently maintaining at the national level that it will be contesting the polls on the development plank.
Judeo has been organising such Ghar Vapasi programmes for almost three decades and claims to have reconverted over 600,000 tribals who had 'strayed away'.
More reports from Chhattisgarh
Read about: Assembly Election 2003