BJP backs Uttarakhand CM’s promise on Uniform Civil Code

Remarks draw flak from Opposition as campaign draws to a close.

Updated - February 12, 2022 10:22 pm IST

Published - February 12, 2022 10:12 pm IST - New Delhi

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami in Khatima on February 12, 2022, the last day of campaigning for the Assembly elections. Photo: Twitter/@pushkardhami

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami in Khatima on February 12, 2022, the last day of campaigning for the Assembly elections. Photo: Twitter/@pushkardhami

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami was on Saturday cheered by several BJP leaders for his promise to set up a committee for preparing a draft Uniform Civil Code (UCC) if the party was re-elected to power in the State, while the Opposition leaders criticised him for the remarks.

Mr. Dhami made the announcement on the last day of campaigning for the Assembly election on February 14. He said the draft code would cover issues such as marriage, divorce, property and succession. He said it would be a significant step towards the implementation of Article 44 of the Constitution and would promote social harmony, gender equality and women’s empowerment, stating that the Supreme Court had also emphasised the importance of such a code.

Also read | Uttarakhand CM’s push for UCC sparks debate

Welcoming Mr. Dhami’s comments, the BJP’s national in-charge of information and technology, Amit Malviya, tweeted: “Uttarakhand CM announces BJP’s decision to implement Uniform Civil Code in Devbhoomi after elections. Uttarakhand will be the second such State after BJP ruled Goa to do so. On the one hand Harish Rawat promised Muslim University, while the BJP speaks of equality and empowerment.”

Tejasvi Surya, BJP’s Bengaluru South MP, also congratulated Mr. Dhami, stating that it would be a major step towards fulfilling an important constitutional commitment, while the party’s national spokesperson, Shehzad Poonawala, lauded the Chief Minister.

However, responding to Mr. Dhami’s remarks, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi said “uniform” did not mean common. He said Article 29 of the Constitution provided that every individual and society had the right to preserve and practice their culture and it could not be violated. “Babasaheb [Ambedkar] had said that UCC should be voluntary, not mandatory. This country’s beauty is that it is one nation but has many cultures,” he told a reporter.

Congress leader Kapil Sibal tweeted: “Pushkar S Dhami, please don’t embarrass your party and yourself when you make announcements about implementing the Uniform Civil Code in Uttarakhand if BJP comes to power. This shows your party is losing in Uttarakhand and that you need some legal advice.”

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