Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Wednesday asserted that there was “no need” for an anti-conversion law in the state where the government was “alert” and members of different religious communities lived in peace. He gave the statement when asked by journalists about the need for such a law in the wake of reports appearing in the press, sporadically, about Hindus allegedly changing their faith following enticements offered by proselytizers.
“The government has always been alert here. And all people, be they from any religious group, live in peace. Hence such a move is not required here,” the chief minister said emphatically. The averment by Kumar, who controls the JD(U) and owes his rise in politics to the socialist movement, could also be seen as a strong message to his ally BJP.
BJP hardliners such as Union minister Giriraj Singh have been stressing the need for an anti-conversion law. The ideological divide between Kumar and BJP has also come to the fore on the issue of caste census.
BJP leaders, including some ministers in the cabinet, have been alleging that many “Rohingyas” and “Bangladeshis” have sneaked into Bihar and care must be taken not to legitimize their stay by including them in the state-level headcount of castes. Notwithstanding their political collaboration that goes back to the 1990s, Kumar has not been on the same page with the BJP on issues such as Ayodhya, Article 370, Uniform Civil Code, triple talaq, NRC, and legislative measures for population control.