New Delhi, Dec 15: The Congress party on Monday appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take strict action against the perpetrators of forced religious conversions, adding that such acts were inimical to the Indian Constitution.”The Indian Constitution does not provide for [forced religious conversions]. Despite the Prime Minister explicitly stating that he does not support these actions, there is a lot of difference between words and deeds,” Congress leader Anand Sharma told the media.

“As the opposition, we have pleaded that the government should not only condemn such practices but also take severe action against the concerned perpetrators. I feel that only the Prime Minister can assure the people that divisive forces will be stopped. And if they are not stopped, then as the opposition, it is the duty of the Congress and other parties to oppose them,” he added.

Claiming that there existed an agenda to polarise the nation, Anand Sharma further stated that India as a nation is proud of its diversity “It is clear that there is an attempt to create tensions and polarization along the lines of religion and there is an agenda behind this. It will be for the betterment of the country and for us as a nation to defeat this agenda,” he said. “Our country recognises and respects every religion. We are a multi-religious and multi-linguistic nation and we are proud of our diversity,” he added.

The former cabinet minister also stated that inaction on the part of the government threatened the very credibility of the government “If the government does not take these forces seriously, then their very credibility is in question,” Sharma said. Last week, around 200 people were reportedly converted to Hinduism in a ceremony in Agra by groups linked to the BJP’s ideological mentor RSS. The Bajrang Dal and the Dharam Jagran Manch, the groups that performed the mass conversions, reportedly claimed that the families were originally Hindus and converted to Islam around 30 years ago. The issue had led to an uproar in the Parliament by the opposition parties who demanded an explanation from the government.