People gave BJP mandate to implement UCC: Uttarakhand CM Dhami | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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People gave BJP mandate to implement UCC: Uttarakhand CM Dhami

Feb 03, 2024 01:40 AM IST

The draft suggests leaving out Scheduled Tribes from the bill and setting the legal age for marriage at 18 for all faiths and communities.

​The people of Uttarakhand gave the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) the mandate to implement the uniform civil code (UCC) and the proposed legislation will not target any group or community, chief minister Pushkar Singh Dhami said on Friday.

Uttarakhand chief minister Pushkar Singh Dhami addresses the handing over of the UCC draft report during a programme organised at Mukhya Sevak Sadan, in Dehradun on Friday (ANI)
Uttarakhand chief minister Pushkar Singh Dhami addresses the handing over of the UCC draft report during a programme organised at Mukhya Sevak Sadan, in Dehradun on Friday (ANI)

Implementation of UCC was a poll promise made by the BJP ahead of the 2022 assembly polls and the government after re-election had announced the setting up of a five-member committee to draft the framework for the legislation.

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“It was our sankalp (resolution) and we fulfilled the janadesh (mandate of the people). We expect other states will implement it as well,” Dhami said.

Read here: Ban polygamy, says Uttarakhand UCC panel

Dhami, who is in the Capital to meet Union ministers and senior party leaders, said the government received an overwhelming response from the public as suggestions for what the code should include. The CM said 233,000 suggestions were received, which adds up to 10% of the state’s population.

“This shows the awareness in the public about the issue...Public meetings were held across 43 places, we started the process of public consultation from the first village along the border, a portal was set up for receiving suggestions,” he said.

The draft, which runs into four volumes and 740 pages, was submitted to the CM and will now be taken up for discussion in the state assembly next week. While implementation of UCC is a promise that has found place in the BJP’s poll manifesto for decades and demanded by its ideological fount, the Rashtrya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS); Uttarakhand is the first state to set in motion the plan to implement the uniform law.

Responding to the Opposition’s charge that the code is being implemented to polarise the electorate ahead of the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, Dhami said such allegations were baseless as the draft was yet to be made public; and will be implemented after a detailed discussion in the state assembly.

In response to a question on whether other states such as Gujarat or Assam will follow the state’s draft UCC, he said, “ We expect other states will implement it as well…”

According to people aware of the details, the draft has suggested leaving out Scheduled Tribes from the ambit of Bill and fixing 18 as the legal age for marriage for all faiths and communities.

Although the committee preparing the draft received suggestions to recommend population control policy, the government may announce a new committee to examine and address that issue. A population control bill is also an ideological concern of the BJP and the RSS. On Thursday, union finance minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, while presenting the interim budget, said the government will set up a committee to recommend suggestions for addressing the challenges of a fast-growing population.

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