Trinamool Congress MP Nusrat Jahan on Monday said "love" and "jihad" do not go hand-in-hand. The TMC parliamentarian said it is a matter of personal choice who you want to be with. She advised against "using religion as a political tool" ahead of elections.
"Love is very personal. Love and Jihad don't go hand-in-hand. Just before polls, people come up with topics like this. It is a personal choice who you want to be with. Be in love and start falling in love with each other. Don't make religion a political tool," Jahan was quoted by news agency ANI, as saying.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has termed 'love jihad' a "serious problem" while backing the decision of its state governments to enact laws against it. BJP-ruled states like Uttar Pradesh and Haryana have expressed their intention to bring a law against 'love jihad', a term coined by Hindutva groups for Hindu girls being allegedly forced to convert to Islam in the guise of marriage. However, opposition parties have dismissed this as an attempt by the BJP to divide the society and said any such law will be violative of the Constitution.
The Uttar Pradesh government has sent a proposal to the state's law ministry for a stringent law to deal with "love jihad", the alleged religious conversion of women in the name of marriage. Likewise, other BJP-ruled states have also expressed the intent to bring in law against the practice.
BJP leader and former Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis said that incidents of `Love Jihad' were taking place in the country and therefore laws to curb the practise were justified. Meanwhile, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut said let the Nitish Kumar-led Bihar government enact a law against 'Love Jihad' and then the Maharashtra government will study it and think about it.