Lucknow, Dec 02, 2020: After bringing a law to curb religious conversion for the sake of marriages, the UP government is planning to withdraw a scheme which incentivises interfaith marriage for 44 years.
The Intercaste and Interfaith marriage incentive scheme has been in the state since 1976 which was initiated by the national integration department of the UP.
Uttarakhand which was carved out of UP, is also considering the withdrawal of the scheme, a report in Times of India said.
Earlier an interfaith couple could avail the scheme by applying to the district magistrate within two years of the marriage. After verification, the district magistrate forwards the application to the the national integration department.
“In UP, 11 interfaith couples were beneficiaries of the scheme last year and got Rs 50,000 each,” a senior government reportedly said. This year no amount has been released. The 4 applications that were filed remained pending. The scheme will be reconsidered after the (Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion) Ordinance,” he added.
The Uttar Pradesh government approved the draft of a stringent law to deal with religious conversion for the sake of marriage, which BJP leaders refer to as "love jihad". An official spokesperson said the approval for the ordinance was given at a meeting of the state cabinet chaired by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in Lucknow. The ordinance has also been cleared by the Governor Anandiben Patel.
In 2017, the state government had added a section to the scheme whereby an interfaith couple could not convert after they got married, or they would lose the incentive.