08/01/2015 3:01 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:24 AM IST

Some Statements On Religious Conversions Damaging BJP, Admits Amit Shah

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MUMBAI, INDIA - JANUARY 2: BJP leader Amit Shah interacts with the media during a press conference held at Gaware Club on January 2, 2015 in Mumbai, India. Shah is also likely to discuss the problems within the government with ministers engaging in the game of one-upmanship. (Photo by Anshuman Poyrekar/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

HYDERABAD: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah on Thursday admitted that the statements of some party leaders on religious conversions were damaging the party's image.

"When our MLAs or MPs give such statements, it damages the BJP," he said at a news conference here.

Shah said he had advised his colleagues many times to exercise restraint while speaking.

On BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj's statement appealing to every Hindu to have four children, Shah said the party doesn't agree. "It was his individual statement. The BJP doesn't agree with it."

He, however, said that such statements would have no impact on the development agenda of the government. "Sakshi Maharaj is for media," he quipped.

Declining to comment on Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) president Asaduddin Owaisi's remarks on 'ghar wapsi', Shah said forcible conversion can be stopped only with a strong and comprehensive law.

He said it was unfortunate that no a single "so-called secular party" had come forward to support the government's suggestion in parliament for bringing anti-conversion law.

"Will forcible conversions stop by debate in media? Is the media going to run this country or the law? If the law has to run it, then we need a strong and comprehensive legislation," he said.