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‘CM Jagan wants everyone to become Christian’ — Andhra BJP bats for anti-conversion law

Speaking to ThePrint, BJP's Andhra co-incharge Sunil Deodhar says CM Jagan Reddy is 'letting SC Hindus, who have become Christians, enjoy reserved category benefits’.

BJP national secretary Sunil Deodhar | Twitter | @Sunil_Deodhar
BJP national secretary Sunil Deodhar | Twitter | @Sunil_Deodhar

New Delhi: BJP national secretary Sunil Deodhar, who is also the party’s Andhra Pradesh co-incharge, said Chief Minister Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy wants everyone to become a Christian, and an anti-conversion law would be brought if Jana Sena-BJP government comes to power in the state.

Speaking to ThePrint, the BJP leader who has been camping in Andhra Pradesh for the past few months for the Tirupati Lok Sabha bypolls, also said those Hindus who have converted to Christianity cannot continue to take the benefits of reservation. 

“Hindus who have converted to Christianity can’t be Scheduled Caste. Christians can’t be SC and it is not even accepted by Jesus Christ. It is anti-Christianity. We believe this is anti-Christ as he never asked people to convert everyone. The church has got political interest and that is why they are doing this,” he said.

Deodhar said they have demanded that video footage of those who visit churches regularly should be released.

“The Church should also make public its attendance register. The Church should work on the teachings of Christ and should not lie,” he added. 

“There are a number of Christians, who on paper, continue to be Hindus and go to the Church regularly…. They do this to get benefits. In the religion column, they write Hindu to continue to get all benefits,” he alleged.

Deodhar also said “those Christians who call themselves Hindus do injustice and are encroaching upon the benefits that should be given to the SC community members, who are Hindus”.

“It is injustice happening to Scheduled Caste Hindus in Andhra Pradesh,” he said.

The BJP leader’s comments come in the backdrop of a number of incidents of idol desecration in temples of Andhra Pradesh, triggering a political war between the opposition and the Jagan government.

Also read: BJP, TDP target CM Jagan over spate of attacks on temples in Andhra Pradesh

‘Benefits of reservation should only be given to SC Hindus’

Deodhar said the benefits of reservation should only be given to Scheduled Caste Hindus, something which, he alleged, the chief minister is not doing.

“They left Hinduism and converted because they felt Hindus humiliated them, they meted out injustice to them and they felt after converting to Christianity no injustice would be done to them and they will be given respect.”

“So after getting justice, why do you want to get the benefits that you got while you were being meted out injustice? This should be given to those who, Dr (B.R.) Ambedkar said, had remained backward because they were deprived of benefits. Reservation should be given to those only. And in Andhra Pradesh, Jagan Reddy is not doing this,” he added. 

‘Will bring in anti-conversion law’

Deodhar also accused the chief minister of trying to convert everyone to Christianity. 

“Jaganmohan Reddy wants everyone to become a Christian and if the process (of becoming a Christian) is being delayed due to the denial of the benefits, then he is letting all SC Hindus, who have become Christians, enjoy the benefits meant for the reserved category. We as a party are against this and we will launch a movement against this,” he added. 

Deodhar further said once the Jana Sena and the BJP government comes to power, “we will bring an anti-conversion law”. 

“Those who are trying to convert through force or by luring people that will not be allowed. Anti-conversion bills were introduced in India by the Congress government. So it is not as if we are doing something new. Odisha, Madhya Pradesh and Aruncachal Pradesh had seen such laws,” he added.  

Asked about the BJP’s stand with regard to Amaravati being the only capital of Andhra Pradesh, the BJP leader said, “Our party’s stand is very clear in the declaration that we have given which is that Amravati should be the capital.”

Also read: As temple politics hits Andhra, Jagan lays foundation stone for reconstruction of 9 temples