New Delhi, August 27
When Prime Minister Narendra Modi made his strongest ever public pitch for the Uniform Civil Code from Bhopal on June 27, a sense of urgency was palpable.
This urgency got reiterated on June 30 when former SC judge Ranjana Prakash Desai, the chairperson of the expert committee set up by Uttarakhand to examine the matter, announced that the exercise was near complete and the UCC report would be submitted “very soon”. A day later, Uttarakhand CM Pushkar Singh Dhami announced that the state would act on the draft UCC as soon as it receives the committee report.
Two months after Dhami’s remarks and Ranjana Desai’s statement, there is no sign of the report. Public remarks on the issue by top BJP leaders have also since toned down, begging the question as to whether the government was recalibrating its strategy. Top sources said while the UCC was “very much on the table, consultations with stakeholders were key to implementation”.
“Farm laws were discussed for three years and still we all know what happened,” a source said, indicating a cautious approach on the government’s part so far as the UCC agenda goes. Sources pointed to the government’s consultation-based approach on major issues saying “even the three new criminal law draft Bills seeking to replace IPC, CrPC and Evidence Act have been sent to the parliamentary committee for wider debate.”
BJP sources said the UCC required wider consensus which was sought to be achieved through the Law Commission examining the issue at the national level. The commission’s deadline to receive responses ended on July 28 and one crore responses had come by then. The commission is now in the process of holding stakeholder meetings on UCC across the country, indicating that the process could take time. Meanwhile, the BJP’s line that the best option was to implement UCC through state assemblies is intact on the eve of 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
BJP’s core issue
Uniform Civil Code is the only agenda among the BJP’s core commitments that is yet to be fulfilled. The other two — building the Ram Temple at Ayodhya and abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu & Kashmir — have been achieved.
RSS’ firm stand
RSS in 1995 adopted a resolution welcoming the then SC order advocating the need for UCC. “We stand by that resolution and feel the government should build a consensus on the issue and set a time table for implementation,” it said.
Most Read In 24 Hours
Don't MissView All
PM Modi calls for maintaining balance between mitigation and...
The decision amounts to creating a parallel jurisdiction, ta...
No suspicious objects have been found yet, say police
No electricity at stadium in Raipur hosting India vs Australia T20 today; bill of Rs 3.16 crore not paid
During today's games, a generator would be required to power...
'In Punjab, Rs 11 is considered a 'shagun', so I am announci...