Kochi: Congress MP Jebi Mather on Saturday dismissed the Bharatiya Janata Party’s proposed bill on Uniform Civil Code and said that the bill should be nipped as it is “unconstitutional”.
“The proposed bill is something which should be nipped in the bud itself. Because that is totally unconstitutional, totally against the ethos of our country, totally against the secular fabric of our country what our forefathers have seen or dreamt of India, so that is why at the introductory stage itself, all of us, representing the Congress party, senior leader Hanumanthaiah, myself and Imran Pratapgarhi, all of us opposed aggressively. We made our voices very clear. This is Congress party’s thoughts on Uniform Civil Code,” said Mather.
She also launched a veiled attack on the Kerala Governor and said the governorship was “dividing” the general masses.
“BJP has many agendas. BJP is actually misusing Governorship in many states wherever it is not being ruled by BJP to create very difficult situations in every state. That’s why lots of agitations are happening in many states. BJP is not going ahead as a responsible party which is supposed to maintain the responsibility that they are governing. They are actually injecting venom by dividing the people. And one of them is this,” she added.
She also highlighted the party’s stance on the bill and said, “At every forum, we are opposing the Uniform Civil Code. Unity in diversity is what this country is known for. The beauty of this country is we are diverse, we speak different languages, we follow different religions, and we wear different clothes. We cannot be uniform in diversity. There’s nothing special in Uniformity in diversity. That’s the stand we took in Parliament yesterday.”
Earlier on December 9, Opposition members in Rajya Sabha on Friday strongly opposed the introduction of a private member’s bill to bring the Uniform Civil Code.
Members from CPI-M, CPI, DMK, Congress, RJD, Samajwadi Party and NCP were among those who opposed the introduction of ‘Uniform Civil Code in India Bill, 2020’ by BJP member Kirodi Lal Meena and urged him to withdraw it.
Rajya Sabha Chairman Jagdeep Dhankar was in the Chair when the bill was introduced. The bill seeks to provide for the constitution of the National Inspection and Investigation Committee for preparation of Uniform Civil Code and its implementation throughout the territory of India and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
The bill was later introduced following a division with 63 “ayes”, 23 noes and no abstention.
The proposal concerning Uniform Civil Code is intended to have uniform personal laws for all citizens, regardless of their religion, sex, gender and sexual orientation.
Samajwadi Party Rajya Sabha MP Ram Gopal Yadav later said the bill is ‘unconstitutional’.
“The Opposition in Rajya Sabha strongly voiced its misgivings over the Uniform Civil Code in India Bill, 2020. It is unconstitutional. The educational, cultural, and religious rights of minorities come under fundamental rights of the constitution,” he said.
“The introduction of the UCC Bill can trigger unrest. If the Centre wants to divide the country, it can bring the Bill,” he added.
The BJP had talked of UCC in its manifesto for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
The UCC was also a party of BJP manifestoes for the recent Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections.