The Gujarat government’s decision to constitute a committee to implement the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) in the state is far-sighted, aimed at the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) insiders believe.
Sources in the party feel with the top brass’s focus on ensuring a majority win in the next general elections, the BJP-ruled states will test the waters for the UCC in time.
Senior leaders believe the party would have ample time to test the sentiments regarding the proposed law, as it may invite “adverse sentiments from a certain quarter” and the BJP would be able to strategise in time to contain any opposition to the move.
With the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) top brass advising the government to seek public opinion on any proposed law, as the government had to go on the back foot and repeal agriculture laws, the BJP is trying to at least build an environment in its states to have UCC implemented partially in the country. The RSS, sources claimed, had also suggested to the Centre to first generate an environment in the country for the laws that they believe are intrinsic to the unity of the country before their announcement and implementation.
UCC is a directive principle which means one law for the entire country and largely relates to Personal Laws.
Believing that implementation of UCC has always been on its agenda, sources in the party said that if not through the Centre, the BJP-ruled states can successfully implement the UCC and set an example for the states ruled by the Opposition.
“After the implementation in a majority of states, the road to implement UCC centrally becomes relatively smooth,” added the source.
So far, apart from Gujarat, Uttarakhand has announced formation of a committee to look into the implementation of the UCC. Both Assam and Himachal Pradesh governments have shown commitment to implement it sooner.
Senior leaders in Gujarat believe that a promise to implement UCC could be instrumental in wooing Muslim women, who have seen atrocities in their surroundings or faced them because of diverse personal laws.
“We banned triple talaq and saw how much support we got in various elections from them. With a UCC promise, they will be assured of being treated equally as their Hindu sisters by the law of the country. Those who are opposing it do not want women of the community to live a respectable life,” said a senior leader.
Many in the party believe that with many of the BJP’s ideological commitments in their manifestos fulfilled, including construction of Ram Janmabhoomi temple, abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, reviving places of Hindu faith such as Kashi Vishwanath, Mahakaal temple, renovation of Kedarnath and Badrinath Dham, giving citizenship to people facing religion-based atrocities in Islamic nations through the CAA, UCC is next on the list of task to be accomplished.
With inputs from News18