CM Dhami promises Uniform Civil Code if BJP re-elected in Uttarakhand
With two days left for voting in the Uttarakhand assembly elections, chief minister Pushkar Singh Dhami on Saturday said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), if re-elected in the state, will constitute a committee to prepare a draft Uniform Civil Code soon after forming the government.
The committee will have legal experts, retired people, intellectuals and other stakeholders, Dhami said, adding the ambit of the panel will cover issues related to marriage, divorce, landed property and succession.
“This Uniform Civil Code will be a step towards realising the dreams of those who framed our Constitution and solidify the spirit of the Constitution. This will also be an impactful step towards Article 44 that provides for UCC for all citizens,” the CM was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
The Constitution of India, under Article 44, part of the Directive Principles of State Policy, says the state shall endeavour to secure for the citizens a uniform civil code throughout the territory of India.
“It is also important to do so as from time to time, the Supreme Court, too, has underscored the need for a Uniform Civil Code and also expressed concern over no steps being taken in this direction.”
Dhami said the BJP government in Uttarakhand will derive inspiration for the decision from Goa, which has set an example before the country by implementing a common civil code. A common civil code will promote social amity and gender equality besides strengthening women empowerment, he added.
State BJP vice-president Devendra Bhasin said the CM’s announcement was in tune with the party’s ideology. “We have always maintained that laws should be same across the nation irrespective of differences on religion. Congress’s opposition to this is one more proof of their appeasement politics. They have always tried to appease a particular community for electoral gains,” he said.
The Opposition Congress, meanwhile, called Dhami’s promise a political “gimmick fearing loss” in the elections.
“They are promising this now because all their star campaigners have failed to turn the tide in their favour in the state. They have started this new gimmick because they don’t have any answers to hard issues of unemployment, price rise, women security and others. People of Uttarakhand will not fall for this and they will throw this party out of power on February 14,” said Garima Dasauni, Congress’s Uttarakhand media in-charge.
State Congress general secretary Mathura Dutt Joshi questioned the timing of the CM’s announcement. “They are making these announcements to polarise people and secure more votes on religious lines. It is very clear with the timing of the announcement,” he said.