Centre conscious about public sentiments regarding reservation for STs post conversion: Rai

NEW DELHI, 7 May: The Centre is conscious about public sentiments regarding reservation for the members of the scheduled tribes who opt for religious conversion, Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai said, reacting to a BJP MP’s call for revocation of reservation and benefits of STs who convert.

Rai said that all relevant matters, in addition to the people’s opinion, will have to be considered before a decision is taken on the issue.

The minister was responding to BJP MP Nishikant Dubey, who had raised the issue in the Lok Sabha in December last year, saying reservation and other benefits to STs who opt for religious conversion must be revoked in order to prevent conversions.

Dubey, an MP from Jharkhand, had said that religious conversion was a major issue in his home state and people were being converted through lure and temptation.

Replying to Dubey, Rai said, “The government is conscious of the public sentiments regarding reservation benefits to scheduled tribes after converting religion… any decision on such requests will need to take into account public opinion and all related relevant matters.”

According to the Constitution, public order is a state subject and forced religious conversions come under the purview of states and they are capable of forming laws to check religious conversions, he said. (PTI)