Amid the uproar over 'love jihad', Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Monday said with West Bengal polls around the corner the "serious matter" of love jihad should be brought to the fore and made a part of election debates.
"A lot of discussions are going on regarding love jihad. I think it's a serious matter. West Bengal elections are coming up and a new topic should be brought to the fore. We believe development is a major issue in the election but 'love jihad' will also be discussed," said Raut.
He took a dig at Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and said Maharashtra will enact a law for "love-jihad" after examining the law framed by the Bihar government.
"Some people are raising this issue in Maharashtra too, asking us when will we bring a law? I spoke to the CM today. I would like to say that when Nitishji frames this law in Bihar, we will examine it and then think about the same for Maharashtra," he added.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had recently announced that his government will enact a strict law to curb "love jihad" and forcible religious conversion. Prior to this, Shivraj Singh Chouhan-led BJP government in Madhya Pradesh had said the state would soon have a law against 'love jihad'. Karnataka has also formulated a strict law against "love jihad".
The Union Home Ministry on February 4 this year has clarified that the term 'love jihad' is not defined under the existing laws and no such case has been reported so far. No such case has been reported by any of the central agencies yet.
However, two cases from Kerala involving inter-faith marriages have been investigated by the National Investigation Agency, according to the Home Ministry.
West Bengal Assembly elections are scheduled to be held in 2021.