Differences over UCC | Opposition parties are not ‘photocopies’ of each other, says Derek O’ Brien

AAP has announced in-principle support for the UCC, and Shiv Sena (UT) has also extended qualified support; at next Opposition meet, parties will seek to form common positions on issues such as UCC

July 01, 2023 08:13 pm | Updated 09:13 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Derek O’Brien’s comments were aimed at underlining that differences on the issue will not create rift in the opposition unity

Derek O’Brien’s comments were aimed at underlining that differences on the issue will not create rift in the opposition unity | Photo Credit: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

Opposition parties are not “photocopies” of each other, Trinamool Congress Rajya Sabha Parliamentary leader Derek O’ Brien said on July 1, in the context of two of the 15 Opposition parties articulating divergent stances on the Uniform Civil Code (UCC). His comments were aimed at underlining that differences on the issue will not create rift in the opposition unity.

The Aam Aadmi Party have announced in-principle support for the UCC, while the Shiv Sena (Uddhav Thackeray) has extended its qualified support as well. 

“The party is in principle support of the Uniform Civil Code. Article 44 also says that there should be UCC in the country. But it is connected to all religions, so there should be wider consultation on the issue with all religions and political parties,” AAP MP Sandeep Pathak told the media earlier this week.

Also Read | Parliamentary panel calls representatives of Law Commission, law ministry on UCC

The Shiv Sena has historically advocated for the UCC and the Uddhav Thackeray faction is following the same strain of argument. However, while speaking to The Hindu, the party’s senior leader Sanjay Raut questioned the government’s sincerity on bringing in the law and demanded that there should be expansive deliberations. The UCC proposal should not be limited to a political stunt to milk electoral dividends, he said.

In this context, Mr. O’ Brien, on July 1 tweeted, “Parties fighting to protect democracy & create jobs are not photocopies of each other. After Patna Summit, the second summit will consolidate issues on which there is 100% agreement. On some issues, all parties will not be on same page. Understandable. At macro level, all clear.” 

Even the TMC itself has not taken a structured stance on the UCC issue, other than dismissing it as a “diversionary” tactic. The party’s position, historically, has been against it. “It is such a complex issue, how can we make a comment without comprehensively studying its implications,” a senior TMC leader said.

In the next round of Opposition meetings, the parties are expected to form smaller inter-party groups to concretise a common stand on various issues, including the UCC.

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