Uniform Civil Code, ‘One Nation, One Election’ to be implemented in next term, says Amit Shah

The Union Home Minister said the BJP has done an experiment in Uttarakhand where it has a majority government as it is a subject of States and the Centre.

Updated - May 27, 2024 10:05 am IST

Published - May 26, 2024 03:54 pm IST - New Delhi

Union Home Minister Amit Shah. File

Union Home Minister Amit Shah. File | Photo Credit: PTI

Union Home Minister Amit Shah has said a Uniform Civil Code for the entire country will be implemented within the next five years after extensive consultations with all stakeholders if the BJP returns to power.

In a wide-ranging interview with PTI, Mr. Shah said the Modi government in its next term will also implement 'One Nation, One Election' as the time has come for the elections to be held simultaneously in the country.

The senior BJP leader further said the simultaneous elections will also bring down costs.

Asked about the possibility of moving elections to winter or some other time of the year as against the current one being held in scorching heat, Mr. Shah said, "We can think over it. If we prepone one election, it can be done. It should be done. This is also the time of students' vacation. It creates lots of problems too. Over time, the election (Lok Sabha) gradually moved to this period (during summer)." Talking about the Uniform Civil Code, Mr. Shah said, "The UCC is a responsibility left to us, our Parliament and the state legislatures of our country since independence by the makers of our Constitution."

Also read: 2024 India General Elections LIVE - May 27

"The guiding principles decided for us by the Constituent Assembly include the Uniform Civil Code. And even at that time, legal scholars like K M Munshi, Rajendra Babu, Ambedkar Ji had said that there should not be laws based on religion in a secular country. There should be a Uniform Civil Code," he said.

The Union Home Minister said the BJP has done an experiment in Uttarakhand where it has a majority government as it is a subject of States and the Centre.

The UCC has been on the BJP's agenda since the 1950s and recently it was enacted in BJP-ruled Uttarakhand.  "I believe that the Uniform Civil Code is a huge social, legal, and religious reform. The law made by the Uttarakhand government should undergo social and legal scrutiny. Religious leaders should also be consulted," he said.

"What I mean is that there should be an extensive debate on this. And if there is anything to change in the model law made by the Uttarakhand government after this extensive debate. Because someone will definitely go to court. The judiciary's opinion will also come.

"After that, the state legislatures and Parliament of the country should think seriously over this and a law must be enacted. That is why we have written in our 'sankalp patra' that the BJP aims to have a Uniform Civil Code for the entire country," he said.

Asked if it can be done within the next five years, Shah said it will be done in this period only. "Five years are a sufficient period," he said.

Asked about simultaneous polls, Mr. Shah said, "We will also make every effort to achieve 'One Nation, One Election'. This should also be discussed." "The Prime Minister had formed the Ram Nath Kovind committee. I was also a member of it. Its report has been submitted. The time has come that elections should be held simultaneously in the country," he added.

Asked whether a bill on this can be introduced in the next session if the BJP returns to power, Mr. Shah said, "Our resolution is for five years. We will bring it during this period." In its manifesto for the ongoing Lok Sabha polls, the BJP has said that Article 44 of the Constitution lists Uniform Civil Code as one of the Directive Principles of State Policy.

"BJP believes that there cannot be gender equality till such time Bharat adopts a Uniform Civil Code, which protects the rights of all women, and the BJP reiterates its stand to draw a Uniform Civil Code, drawing upon the best traditions and harmonising them with the modern times," the manifesto has said.

On 'One Nation, One Election', the BJP manifesto mentioned that the Modi government had set up a high-powered Committee to examine the issues of conducting simultaneous elections and it will work towards the implementation of the recommendations of the committee.

It has also promised to make provisions for a common electoral roll for all levels of elections.

BJP will surely cross 400 seats, says Amit Shah

Mr. Shah has asserted that the BJP will get a bigger win in Opposition-ruled States due to a “positive mandate” for Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Lok Sabha polls, as he slammed the opposition’s criticism of the Election Commission as a ploy to cover up for its impending loss.

In an interview with PTI, Mr. Shah claimed that his party has not resorted to any religion-based campaign but insisted that if canvassing against reservation for Muslims, and reaching out to voters on the abolition of Article 370 and implementing a Uniform Civil Code is religion-based campaign, then the BJP has done it and will continue doing so.

He dismissed the opposition’s criticism of the Election Commission for its handling of poll data and the issue of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs), saying that similar protocols and practices have been followed in previous assembly polls, including Telangana, West Bengal and Himachal Pradesh where the BJP lost.

“If those elections were fair, then this election is also fair. When you see defeat, you start crying in advance and try to find excuses to go abroad. This can’t go on and on. They want to go on vacation on June 6. So, they are telling something or the other,” he said.

The Congress’s questions about the polling process is aimed at covering up Rahul Gandhi’s failure, he said.

Mr. Shah said the Opposition party had not offered any such suggestion at the customary all-party meeting called by the poll watchdog before the elections. “Whenever the opposition loses an election, they raise some questions. There is zero possibility of rigging in EVMs and they want an election which can be rigged.” With six phases of the seven-phase Lok Sabha polls over, the BJP’s key strategist said the party’s assertion that its alliance will cross the 400-seat mark when the poll results are out on June 4 is not merely a poll slogan but a well thought-out goal.

He said, “We will surely cross 400 seats. We will also form governments in Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Arunachal Pradesh.” Assembly polls in the three states have been held alongside the Lok Sabha elections.

“If we get 399 seats and you say we have not crossed 400, then it is your wisdom. But the ‘400 paar’ slogan is based on calculation and considered opinion,” Mr. Shah said in his characteristic combative and sure-footed manner.

Asked if the party was overly dependent on Mr. Modi and if a relatively weak opposition was benefitting from its alliance, he said it was not a negative but a positive vote which the ruling alliance is receiving.

“This is not a negative vote. Please accept one thing. This is a positive vote. We will get people’s support where (in States) we are in power. And mark my words...where we are not, we will be getting a bigger mandate. So this is a positive mandate for the work of the central government,” he said.

As Mr. Modi has brought to fruition the BJP’s core ideological plans, be it the poor’s welfare, a secure country, abrogation of Article 370, a uniform law (UCC) across the country, women’s reservation and Ram temple, his popularity naturally becomes the strength of the BJP, he added. “He is our biggest leader.” He accused the main opposition party of misleading people on the issue of Muslim reservation, insisting that its accusation that the BJP has been telling a lie rings hollow as it has already implemented such a religious quota in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.

“If they divide the truth in pieces to mislead people, then isn’t it our duty to put these pieces together and inform people,” he said, defending Mr. Modi’s intense attack on the Congress over the religious quota and the issue of redistribution of wealth.

“You might have heard and understood Rahul Gandhi’s X-ray speech. So you want X-ray of what? And if you want to distribute it equally, then who will you distribute to? Manmohan Singh Ji said minorities are their priority. What do you make of this,” he asked when questioned about the Congress’s allegations against Mr. Modi.

To a question about the Congress’s promise of giving ₹1 lakh to women in poor households, he said the party has a history of making populist assurances to come to power but never fulfilling them.

Mr. Shah said, “They are in power in two-three states. They should at least fulfil this promise there. At least start giving Rs 1,500 which you promised (in Himachal Pradesh). You are talking about Rs 1 lakh, at least start giving Rs 1,500. Who will trust them.” Making his projection for the BJP in the states where the ruling party is eying major gains, he said it will anywhere between 24 to 30 seats in West Bengal and 16-17 in Odisha. Its alliance will bag nearly 17 seats in Andhra Pradesh. The three states have 42, 21 and 25 Lok Sabha seats, respectively.

Mr. Shah claimed that the BJP is set for a maiden majority in the Odisha assembly and expects to win 75 seats in the 147-member House. Its alliance will storm to power in Andhra too, he said.

People are angry with the Mamata Banerjee-led government over issues of corruption, cow and coal smuggling and infiltration, and the Sandeshkhali issue has exposed as to what extent she can stoop in her appeasement politics, he said.

With PM Modi spearheading the BJP’s push in Tamil Nadu and Kerala, two states where the party has been so far unable to make much headway, in these polls, Shah said the party will certainly increase its vote share in the Dravidian state.

He said, “It is a very tight contest. We have a new team. I will not make an estimate with figures. But our seats and vote share will increase and we will certainly lay a strong foundation in Tamil Nadu. We can open our account in Kerala. We are in a good position in three seats.”

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.