After various BJP-ruled states said legislation against "love jihad" was underway, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister and Congress leader Bhupesh Baghel responded asking whether those saffron party members who had inter-faith marriages would come under the purview of such laws.
'Love Jihad' is a conspiracy theory touted by right-wing groups under which they claim Muslim men 'forcibly convert' women of other religions under the 'guise' of love.
"Family members of several BJP leaders are also married into other faiths. I ask BJP leaders if these marriages come under the definition of 'love jihad'?" he said.
भाजपा के नेताओं से मैं पूछना चाहूंगा... pic.twitter.com/AISvJ4DKyX
— Bhupesh Baghel (@bhupeshbaghel) November 21, 2020
Earlier, Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot had slammed the ‘love jihad’ controversy and accused the BJP of “manufacturing” the phrase to divide the nation along communal lines. He said marriages, including inter-faith unions, were a matter of personal liberty and any law to curb them would not stand in court.
“Love Jihad is a word manufactured by BJP to divide the Nation and disturb communal harmony. Marriage is a matter of personal liberty, bringing a law to curb it is completely unconstitutional and it will not stand in any court of law. Jihad has no place in Love,” Gehlot had said on Twitter.
He said the move seemed like a ploy to disrupt communal harmony, fuel social conflict and disregard constitutional provisions like the state not discriminating against citizens on any ground.
The Congress leaders' comments come amid plans in four BJP-ruled states – Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Karnataka – to outlaw what the Bharatiya Janata Party and the respective government heads call ‘love jihad’.