Rajasthan Chief Minister Bhajan Lal Sharma.(Photo | ANI)

By Rajesh Asnani

JAIPUR: In a controversial move aimed at curbing alleged ‘Love Jihad’ and religious conversion cases, the BJP government in Rajasthan is planning to introduce new legislation.

Led by Chief Minister Bhajan Lal, the state government has decided to repeal the Rajasthan Religious Freedom Bill of 2008.

This bill was passed 16 years ago during the first tenure of former CM Vasundhara Raje’s government, but despite being passed by the state assembly, it did not receive the President’s approval and therefore never became law.

Now, inspired by its Hindutva ideology, the Bhajan Lal government is set not only to scrap Raje’s Anti-Conversion bill but also to replace it with a much stronger piece of legislation aimed at curbing cases of religious conversion, including those related to the “Love Jihad” issue highlighted by Hindutva forces across the country in recent years.

The 2008 bill passed by the Vasundhara administration required individuals to obtain the approval of the district collector before converting to another religion and prescribed a five-year prison sentence for those found guilty of unlawful conversions. That bill had provoked considerable controversy in Rajasthan but was ultimately passed in the state assembly, where the BJP held a decisive majority.

This story was originally published in newindianexpress.com. Read the full story here.