Riddled with infighting, K’taka BJP now hopes to capitalise on UCC

The saffron party is waiting to gain traction with the heated debate on the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) in the country.  — IANS

By M.K. Ashoka

Bengaluru, July 1 (IANS) The BJP which is beset with infighting following the humiliating defeat in the Karnataka assembly elections, is now struggling to gain momentum as the ruling Congress is giving it no elbow room.

Of its five guarantees, the Congress has implemented two important schemes — free travel for women and free rice. And the registration for free power is in full swing. The saffron party is waiting to gain traction with the heated debate on the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) in the country.  

The BJP cadre and leaders are upbeat about the proposed UCC changing the discourse in the state’s political scenario. However, the Congress is upbeat that in the recently concluded assembly elections, the “Modi myth” was broken. The spokespersons and leaders of the Congress party have given directions not to comment on the UCC, as it is still in the initial stages.

A senior Congress leader said that before every election the BJP comes up with such moves. “People have seen how the Pulwama attack was used by the BJP to attain power in the last assembly elections. In Karnataka as well, the reservation quota for Muslims was cancelled before the assembly elections. It didn’t work for them.

“The UCC might work for the BJP in the BIMARU states. There is going to be resistance in Karnataka to the UCC. It is a wrong notion that the UCC only affects Muslims. It affects matters related to Hindu marriages, maintenance and division of property. It is to be seen how constitutionally, this is going to be implemented,” he added.

The Karnataka polls have shown that only the Modi factor can’t win elections and people are concerned about hunger and unemployment. They also learnt how the politics of hatred affects them. “We have taken it as a challenge to win more than 20 seats in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. The district in-charge ministers are already being given tasks and targets to prepare for the Lok Sabha elections,” the Congress leader stated.

Former IPS officer and BJP leader Bhaskar Rao, talking to IANS stated that the UCC is there under Article 44. By bringing in the UCC right now, it will send a message of one country, one civil law like one criminal law for the whole country. So, one civil law for the entire country. But, my contention is that people should be taken into confidence. If the UCC is implemented without taking the people into confidence it can be counter productive.

Rao added that in criminal law you can do it because a criminal has no excuse. Civil law has a bigger latitude. When there is a bigger latitude more people have to be taken into confidence. After taking people into confidence, civil law is necessary for the economic and social growth of the country.

Our intention of implementing the UCC is to bring uniformity so that there is social and economic justice. It is necessary and it should be implemented. In Karnataka, the elections are over, it is not being seen from the election point of view, it should have been done a long time back. One day or the other it has to come, the sooner the better. There will be initial opposition  to this but the UCC is required, Rao said.  

With the Congress maintaining that now continuing the myth of winning elections in the name of Modi is not possible, BJP leaders said that the UCC is not about elections it is about the country. However, the party which won 25 out of the total 28 Lok Sabha seats in the 2019 elections is in total chaos. With allegations being made against top leaders including former chief minister B.S. Yediyurappa, national general secretary (organization) B.L. Santhosh, state BJP president Nalin Kumar Kateel and former CM Basavaraj Bommai, the saffron party seems to have a long way to go in Karnataka to face the Congress.

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