BJP moves to recharge core voters by honouring an unfulfilled promise

PM Modi said that Muslims were being misled in the name of UCC. — IANS

New Delhi, July 1 (IANS) With the crucial Lok Sabha elections less than a year away, Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier this week gave a strong push to a Uniform Civil Code (UCC) making it clear he plans to fulfill one of the prominent election promises that has been pending for long and hoping to recharge the party’s core constituency of voters.
Addressing BJP booth workers during his visit to Madhya Pradesh capital Bhopal recently, Modi said that Muslims were being misled in the name of UCC.
“These days, people are being provoked by the UCC. You tell me, if there is one law for one person in a home, and another law for another person, can that house function?” Modi asked.
The Prime Minister also reached out to two subsections within Muslims – women and Pasmanda Muslims –  over the issue of triple talaq and the Pashmanda community being neglected for years.
Modi’s strong pitch for the UCC came as the party has fulfilled its promises of abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir and the construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya which is underway,and was a part of the BJP’s “core” manifesto agenda. Now in the list of unfulfilled promises of the BJP and its ideological body Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, remains the implementation of the UCC.
The BJP had won two consecutive Lok Sabha elections with huge mandates, and is looking for a third consecutive term next year and wants to capitalise on the issue.
The strong pitch by the Prime MInister has successfully opened a rift in the opposition camp as the AAP, which attended the first opposition meeting in Bihar’s Patna on June 23 announced that it will support the UCC.
The UCC refers to a common set of laws that are applicable to all the citizens of India that is not based on religion and dealing with marriage, divorce, inheritance and adoption among other personal matters.
A BJP source said that pitching the issue of UCC just a year ahead of the crucial polls might prove beneficial for the party as it hopes that it will once again give a clear message to its core voters.
The source said that a heated debate on the  UCC might help the party to recharge the BJP’s core constituency.
The source added that the BJP might have brought up the UCC debate after its loss in Karnataka, where it was decimated by the Congress in the recently concluded assembly polls.
The source also felt that as the caste factor was not working, the UCC debate will help its core voters to come together to take on the Congress and other opposition parties in several states.
On Friday, Justice (retd) Ranjana Prakash Desai said that the draft of the proposed UCC for Uttarakhand is complete and would soon be submitted to the state government.
While speaking to the media in the national capital, Desai, who is the head of the committee of experts set up by the Uttarakhand government last year, said the panel has drafted the code taking into account all shades of opinion and looking into various statutes and uncodified laws, including the statutory framework in select countries.
However, many allies of the BJP, including the Lok Janshakti Party (Ramvilas) leader Chirag Paswan have said that they will first read the draft report on the UCC and then take a decision on supporting it.
Even the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP), which is the bigger partner in the ruling alliance in Nagaland, has  opposed the UCC. Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma, has said that the UCC goes against the ‘idea of actual India’ The. National People’s Party (NPP) is the partner of the BJP in this northeastern state.
Several ministers of the BJP have pitched strongly for the UCC.
The party source also indicated that the UCC BIll may be introduced in the Monsoon Session of Parliament and might be referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee for more discussion on the issue.

The source indicated that the BJP will not push for the passage of the UCC Bill in the Monsoon Session and might take it closer to next year’s Lok Sabha election.

While the Prime Minister is pitching strongly for the UCC, the party leaders will tread carefully as it can create trouble for the party in several states, including the northeastern states and in tribal dominated poll bound Chhattisgarh, said the source.

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