‘Love jihad' a term coined by BJP to disturb communal harmony: Ashok Gehlot

"Jihad has no place in love. They are creating an environment in the nation where consenting adults would be at the mercy of state power. Marriage is a personal decision and they are putting curbs on it which is like snatching away the personal li...

Agencies
NEW DELHI: Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot has sent out a strong message of disapproval of non-BJP state governments’ and the opposition Congress to the BJP ruled state governments’ overdrive to bring a legislation against so-called ‘love jihad’. Gehlot said BJP’s ‘love jihad’ plank was a ploy to divide the nation through communal disharmony, termed the proposed legislations as unconstitutional and asserted marriage was matter of personal liberty and choice between two adults and that it cannot be placed at the mercy of state power.

“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”, he said.

Gehlot, the senior most among Congress chief ministers and key leaders of the Congress central establishment, chose three pointed tweets — in English and Hindi — to send out his message against the BJP governments’ latest plank to the larger Opposition gallery. It was lapped up by the AICC spokesperson and backed by some party MPs.


“They are creating an environment in the nation where consenting adults would be at the mercy of state power. Marriage is a personal decision and they are putting curbs on it, which is like snatching away personal liberty. It seems a ploy to disrupt communal harmony, fuel social conflict and disregard constitutional provisions like the state not discriminating against citizens on any ground,” Gehlot said.



This was the second instance this week when the party has deployed Gehlot and his institutional stature in aid of the Congress high command on a delicate issue. Just a few days ago, Gehlot had stepped in to shield the Gandhi-led leadership following in-house criticism after Congress’ poor show in Bihar.
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AICC spokesperson Supriya Shrinate, later told the media “if these governments’ resolve to decide what the people should wear, whom to love and whom to marry, then it would become a big problem. In democracy, it is important to give a response and the Chief Minister of Rajasthan has already done it effectively”. After retweeting Gehlot’s tweet, Congress MP Karti Chidambaram added “the #lovejihad laws being proposed by @BJP4India ruled states are akin to the Jim Crow Laws of segregationist America, Nuremberg laws of Nazi Germany and apartheid laws of South Africa. This has no place in a modern, liberal, free India”.
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