BJP MP’s private member bill on UCC faces stiff resistance in Rajya Sabha

New Delhi | Updated: 10 December, 2022 2:54 pm IST
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Kirodi Lal Meena introduced a private member bill for the implementation of the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) in India amid protests from the Opposition bench in the Rajya Sabha on Friday.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Kirodi Lal Meena introduced a private member bill for the implementation of the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) in India amid protests from the Opposition bench in the Rajya Sabha on Friday.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Kirodi Lal Meena introduced a private member bill for the implementation of the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) in India amid protests from the Opposition bench in the Rajya Sabha on Friday.

In protest, opposition MPs argued that the bill would destroy the secular fabric of the country. They urged Rajya Sabha chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar not to accept the private member bill for introduction.

Dhankhar then called for division and the motion for the introduction of the bill was passed with 63 votes in favour and 23 against it.

The bill proposes to set up a National Inspection and Investigation Committee for the preparation of UCC and its implementation throughout India.

If the bill eventually becomes a law, it will replace currently applicable various laws applicable to various communities that are inconsistent with each other. These laws include the Hindu Marriage Act, Hindu Succession Act, Indian Christian Marriages Act, Indian Divorce Act, and Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act.

Defending the motion to introduce the bill, Union minister Piyush Goyal said BR Ambedkar, the architect of the Constitution, supported the UCC. “It is the legitimate right of a member to raise an issue that is under the directive principles of the Constitution,” he said.

The bill drew stiff resistance from the Congress, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), MK Stalin’s DMK, CPI and many other parties.

Speaking against the motion, Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam’s Vaiko accused the treasury bench of “monopolizing patriotism”. “BJP is implementing the agenda of the RSS and it has destroyed Kashmir. This bill will lead to disaster and disintegration of the country. It will hurt minorities terribly,” he said.

Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) MP Abdul Wahab called the introduction of the bill a deliberate provocation. “This is not a criminal code, everywhere intolerance is there… this is not in the benefit of the nation,” he said.

Elamaram Kareem from the Communist Party of India said, “This bill will burn the country.”

Questioning the intention behind introducing the UCC bill, Bikas Ranjan Bhattacharya of CPI-M asked to restore unity in the country that is facing a crisis. “The division among the people will not help you to grow economically or socially,” he said.

Samajwadi Party’s Ram Gopal Yadav said that such a bill defies the principles of the Constitution. “Muslims marry first cousins, is it possible for Hindus? Will you apply the code from this side or the other end? This will lead to disillusionment among the people,” he said.

Calling the bill “an extreme measure”, Congress’ L Hanumanthaiah said: “We should not enter into such extremities in a healthy democracy like India. We should retain the fabric of this country. We are only a small democracy of 75 years.”

Trinamool Congress’ Jawahar Sircar said the bill is unconstitutional and unethical and the government is being indulgent to test the waters.

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