NEW DELHI: Several opposition parties on Thursday dubbed the 22nd Law Commission’s decision to examine afresh the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) and seek views of stakeholders as pursuance of BJP’s “polarisation agenda” ahead of 2024 Lok Sabha polls, with Congress expressing shock that the panel should take up the subject after its predecessor in 2018 said there was no present need for UCC.
AICC spokesman Jairam Ramesh said, “This latest attempt represents the Modi government’s desperation for a legitimate justification of its continuing agenda of polarisation and diversion from its glaring failures.”
Ramesh, quoting the 2018 consultation paper of the 21st Law Commission, said while cultural diversity should be celebrated, weaker sections of the society must not be dis-privileged in the process, and “resolution of this conflict does not mean abolition of all differences”. He said the commission five years ago dealt with laws that were discriminatory instead of providing UCC. “Most countries are now moving towards recognition of difference and the mere existence of difference does not imply discrimination, but is indicative of a robust democracy,” he said, quoting the paper.
Ramesh told the Law Commission that “it should be mindful of its legacy” as the panel has done enviable work in the past. “It should remember that the interests of the nation are distinct from the political ambitions of BJP,” he said.
Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress said the Modi government is fanning “divisive politics out of desperation”. Party spokesperson and Rajya Sabha MP Derek O’Brien said, “When you cannot deliver on jobs. When you cannot control price rise. When you rip the social fabric. When you fail to keep every promise made. All you can do, in your desperation, is to fan the flame with your deeply divisive politics before 2024.”
Bihar CM Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal (United) advocated building consensus on the issue of UCC and said all stakeholders must be taken into confidence. Party spokesperson K C Tyagi cited Kumar’s 2017 letter to the then Law Commission chairperson B S Chauhan in which he had said the UCC must be seen as a measure of reform for people’s welfare and not a “political instrumentality” to be hurriedly imposed against their wishes and without consultations.





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