The recently elected government in Chhattisgarh is considering legislative or administrative actions to curb the widespread issue of religious conversions in the state. Deputy Chief Minister Arun Sao, in an exclusive interview with News18, highlighted the challenge of tribal populations converting to Christianity through missions operating across the state, emphasising the need for immediate government intervention.
In the interview, Arun Sao remarked, “We have to stop the conversion of the tribal population in the state. It is a crucial issue that has to be addressed. We will take whatever measures are possible in the legal framework to stop this.” He indicated that preventing religious conversion is a top priority for the government, and decisions in this regard would follow discussions in the government’s second cabinet meeting and the formation of the council of ministers.
Furthermore, Sao disclosed that the government has already taken decisive steps during its initial cabinet meeting on December 14. In this meeting, they committed to constructing homes for 18 lakh low-income recipients under the Prime Minister Awas Yojana. “In our first cabinet meeting held last week, we decided to build houses for the poor. In the first phase, houses will be built for 18 lakh beneficiaries under the Prime Minister Awas Yojana,” he announced.
The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and its affiliates have long advocated for an anti-conversion law in the state. They have demanded legislation to curb conversions, and concurrently, initiated a movement urging the delisting of tribals who have converted to Christianity.
Arun Sao assured that the government would adhere to every commitment outlined in the “Modi’s Guarantee” election manifesto. “People will get everything that the party promised before elections. We will execute all programs and schemes which were mentioned under Modi’s guarantee,” Sao affirmed.
Responding to corruption allegations against former Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel and members of his party, Sao asserted, “We will adopt a zero-tolerance for corruption policy. Every complaint of corruption will be recorded as a case. People’s money was embezzled. The law and order will be reinstated. Chhattisgarh will become one of the most advanced states.”
Expressing gratitude for being chosen as the state’s Deputy Chief Minister, Sao thanked the senior leadership for recognising his contributions. The state, under the leadership of its first tribal Chief Minister Vishnu Deo Sai, is set to address crucial issues and embark on significant reforms. Arun Sao, representing the OBC community, is poised to play a key role in the state’s development initiatives.