By opposing the uniform civil code, Mamata Banerjee is only trying to widen communal divisions in Bengal in the interest of vote-bank politics, Left leaders said on Saturday.
They were reacting to Friday’s protest rally by members of the minority community where three Trinamool MPs were present at the forefront.
“Let the Trinamool Congress first declare its official stand on the uniform civil code. The RSS is raking up this issue to create communal divisions in India. Equality and human rights are not on their agenda. In Bengal, the ruling party has failed to deliver on its promises and is now playing the communal card,” CPI(M) MP Md Salim told HT.
Incidentally, the Left parties enjoyed the support of Muslim voters for almost three decades but lost a significant chunk of it to the Trinamool in 2011 and suffered further losses in 2016. This became possible mainly because some of the CPI(M)’s mass leaders such as former land reforms minister Abdur Rezzak Mollah (who was expelled from the party) joined the Trinamool with their trusted lieutenants.
With Trinamool leaders now opposing the uniform civil code on the streets, the Left is possibly looking at a further split in minority votes in the coming elections.
“The Trinamool is clearly following two different strategies based on religion. This was evident during the recent Durga Puja and Muharram. The government took no stand or decision to stop the violence that took place in so many districts,” said Salim.
“Everybody, even the Muslims, will eventually suffer if the Trinamool Congress follows this line of politics. The party is fanning communal sentiments to gain political mileage. The results could be catastrophic,” said RSP national secretariat member Manoj Bhattacharya.
“The Left parties want laws that cut across religions and castes, protect the rights of women and maintain gender equality – not just for Muslims but Hindus as well,” Bhattacharya added.
CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury has already clarified his party’s official stand on the uniform civil code. If there is a law, then the rights of Hindu women, too, should be protected by it, he said a few days ago.