The row over Article 370 gained further traction Friday when Union agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh said there should be deliberation on the matter, as also on uniform civil code.
“There’s no harm in having open debate on issues like Article 370 and common civil code. Why should we shy away from weighing their pros and cons?” he said, in reply to a query at his first press conference in Dehradun after assuming office.
Reacting strongly, Congress warned the BJP government against provoking “unpleasant divisions” by reopening sensitive issues. Party spokesperson Shashi Tharoor said debates do happen, but “that does not imply a licence to reopen everything that can tear the nation” and noted that uniform civil code is a “sensitive issue”.
“...Should you be provoking unpleasant divisions and bitterness in society just after elections... Should you be re-opening such sensitive issues...There are many communities, which have personal laws, like the Sikhs and Christians apart from Muslims,” Tharoor said.
He said when such issues were raised by some BJP leaders in the run-up to Lok Sabha polls, Modi had disapproved of this and had termed them as “distractions”.
In an interview to Urdu weekly Nai Duniya earlier this month, the then BJP PM candidate had stated, “Constitution says that the government will make efforts to implement the uniform civil code.... The second important point I would like to make clear is that implementing a UCC does not mean that all citizens of the country will be brought under the Hindu code...I believe that there are several provisions in the Hindu code, which are irrelevant and they need reforms.”