Gujarat chief minister Bhupendra Patel on Saturday announced setting up a committee to implement the Uniform Civil Code in the state ahead of polls. With this, Gujarat is the third Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled state after Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand to announce the move.
“Under the leadership of PM Narendra Modi & Union HM Amit Shah, CM Bhupendra Patel has taken a historic decision in the cabinet meeting today – of forming a committee for implementing the Uniform Civil Code in the state”, Gujarat home minister Harsh Sanghavi was quoted by ANI as saying. Gujarat goes to polls in December, the dates for which are yet to be announced.
The Uniform Civil Code has been a major election issue for the Bharatiya Janata Party . The saffron party in its 2019 Lok Sabha poll manifesto had promised to implement the UCC if it was voted to power. The UCC has been labelled by the critics as being ‘anti-minority’.
The UCC is a proposal to formulate and implement personal laws of the citizens which will be applicable to every Indian irrespective caste, religion and sexual orientation.
On October 18, the Narendra Modi government told the Supreme Court that the UCC is desirable but it is for the Parliament to legislate one. The government said the personal laws based on religion are ‘affront to the nation’s unity’. It added that the UCC will ensure the integration of India by bringing different communities on a common platform, but maintained it is only for elected representatives and the legislature to take a decision whether the country should have a UCC, and no court can issue directives to Parliament to frame a specific statute.