New Delhi: The Aam Aadmi Social gathering’s “in-principle” help to the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) being proposed by the Bharatiya Janata Social gathering (BJP) authorities on the Centre has landed AAP on a sticky wicket not simply in Punjab — which it governs together with Delhi — but in addition Gujarat, the place it received 5 seats with a vote share of roughly 13 p.c within the 2022 meeting elections, ThePrint has learnt.
Sources within the social gathering advised ThePrint that each state models have expressed their displeasure over the central management’s determination to again the UCC with out consulting them.
The UCC, which goals to exchange private legal guidelines primarily based on faith with a typical set of legal guidelines for all residents, has turn out to be a contentious challenge after Prime Minister Narendra Modi advocated for it in Bhopal final month.
Whereas Punjab is a Sikh-majority state (57.69 p.c inhabitants right here is Sikh in response to 2011 census), 14.75 p.c of the inhabitants in Gujarat are tribals, who’re primarily concentrated in 14 districts situated in its jap elements, in response to state authorities data. Of the 26 Gujarat Lok Sabha seats, 4 are reserved for Scheduled Tribes (STs).
On 28 June, Sandeep Pathak, AAP’s nationwide normal secretary (organisation) and Rajya Sabha MP, was quoted by the media as saying that “in precept, the AAP stands with the UCC. Article 44 [of the Constitution], additionally helps the UCC. Nonetheless, we consider that the Centre ought to construct a consensus on the problem by holding wider consultations with political and non-political stakeholders.”
Article 44 of the Structure says that the state shall strive to usher in a Uniform Civil Code within the nation.
On Monday, high leaders of AAP’s Gujarat unit, led by chief Isudan Gadhvi, met Delhi Chief Minister and AAP nationwide convener Arvind Kejriwal at his residence in Delhi, social gathering sources advised ThePrint.
Curiously, the assembly passed off on a day Praful Vasava, a distinguished tribal face of the social gathering in Gujarat, give up AAP opposing its stand on the UCC.
In his resignation letter addressed to Kejriwal, Vasava, who had completed third within the race for Nandod constituency in final 12 months’s meeting election with 13.78 p.c vote share, attributed his determination to Pathak’s 28 June assertion.
“The nation’s adivasi (tribal) and different communities will help my determination as they consider that the UCC will not be within the nationwide curiosity… On the one hand, the AAP guarantees to implement the fifth and sixth schedule of the Structure, and on the opposite there isn’t any assure that the UCC will safeguard the rights of the adivasis. How can the AAP prolong its help to the UCC then?” wrote Vasava within the resignation letter, which ThePrint has seen.
The fifth and sixth schedules of the Indian Structure take care of particular provisions regarding the administration and governance in scheduled or tribal areas throughout the nation. Within the run-up to the Gujarat meeting polls, the AAP had promised to implement the fifth schedule to guard the pursuits of the tribals within the state if voted to energy.
Chatting with ThePrint Monday on the problem of UCC in tribal areas, Gadhvi mentioned, “we firmly oppose it”.
He added: “We’re launching a marketing campaign in opposition to the UCC in Gujarat’s tribal areas. We’ll firmly oppose any try and implement UCC among the many tribals who comply with different customs and legal guidelines. On the query of UCC amongst different communities, we are going to anticipate the Centre’s draft. However one should not neglect that it’ll have an antagonistic impact on even many communities following the Hindu religion.”
Gadhvi cited the examples of some caste teams — together with the Maldharis, to which he belongs — who don’t method courts for divorces, mentioned the chief.
“These are additionally caste teams wherein girls don’t search property inheritance from their fathers even once they have a share. Maldharis, Ahirs, Jains, Kshatriyas comply with separate traditions. A majority of Gujarat’s 146 caste teams will oppose UCC,” Gadhvi added.
Commenting on the Vasava’s exit from the social gathering, Gadhvi, who had completed second behind the BJP’s Mulu Ayar Bera on the Khambalia seat within the 2022 meeting polls, mentioned the tribal chief “took his determination in haste, because the AAP won’t ever betray the pursuits of the adivasis“.
ThePrint additionally reached Sandeep Pathak over cellphone for touch upon the tribal chief’s resignation, however didn’t obtain a response until the time of publication of this report. The article might be up to date if and when a response is acquired.
Additionally Learn: ‘Can’t be pressured, want wider consultations’ — how Opposition reacted to Modi’s UCC pitch
‘Detrimental to pursuits of tribals’
The marketing campaign in opposition to UCC talked about by Gadhvi above additionally seems tied to its Dediapada (Gujarat) MLA Chaitar Vasava’s public announcement made Sunday, the place he mentioned he would contemplate resigning from his seat if the social gathering extends help to the UCC, which, he mentioned, was detrimental to the pursuits of the tribals.
Chaitar Vasava, who was mentored by seven-time MLA Chhotubhai Vasava, made the remarks throughout a gathering on UCC Sunday, which was attended by tribal leaders from the 14 tribal-dominated districts of the state.
With the AAP banking on Chaitar, who can be its legislative social gathering chief within the state, for deepening its maintain among the many tribals, social gathering leaders have been instructed to chorus from extending any “in precept help” to the UCC going forward, social gathering sources mentioned.
By the way, the AAP needed to deal with the UCC query even forward of the Gujarat meeting polls when the ruling BJP had introduced the formation of a committee to draft a typical civil code for the state.
Commenting on the BJP’s transfer, Kejriwal had then cited Article 44, whereas additionally including that “its intentions are dangerous”.
“Article 44 of the Structure clearly states that it’s the accountability of the federal government to organize a UCC. The federal government ought to put together a UCC, however with the consent of all of the communities,” Kejriwal had advised the media after a rally on 30 October final 12 months.
He had then alleged that the BJP had shaped the same committee in Uttarakhand earlier than the meeting elections there, and after its victory, the committee was nowhere to be seen.
Justice (retired) Ranjana Prakash Desai, who was heading the five-member Uttarakhand committee, reportedly mentioned final week that it had accomplished its job and can submit a report back to the state authorities quickly. In the meantime, CM Pushkar Singh Dhami was quoted within the media as saying final week that the state will implement the UCC in a constitutional method, as soon as the committee submits its report.
Within the context of Gujarat, Kejriwal had mentioned, “Equally, now they’ve shaped a committee earlier than the Gujarat elections. After the elections, this committee may even disappear. If they really intend to implement the Uniform Civil Code, then why not put together a code which is relevant on the whole nation. Are they ready for the Lok Sabha elections to take action? They don’t need to implement the UCC. Their intentions are dangerous.”
In line with media experiences, the state authorities is in search of authorized opinion on whether or not to introduce the committee within the type of a laws or a decision.
Opposition to AAP’s UCC help
In the meantime, Sandeep Pathak’s assertion on UCC had created a ripple not simply inside the social gathering in Gujarat, but in addition in Delhi and Punjab.
On 28 June, when Pathak made the assertion, what went largely unnoticed was the truth that, on the identical day, talking individually to the media in Uttar Pradesh, AAP Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh mentioned, within the absence of a draft UCC, the BJP was concerned with “doing politics over the problem”.
“Which doc will we help? Has the Prime Minister launched any draft UCC?” Singh had requested.
Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann has distanced himself from Pathak’s announcement, telling reporters on 5 July that “UCC was the BJP’s agenda to divide individuals for electoral advantages. AAP is a secular social gathering and stands in opposition to any try and tamper with faiths”.
Whereas arguing in opposition to the UCC, Mann had additionally underlined how the normal practices of Sikhs, by way of marriages and final rites, differ from the Hindus.
AAP sources advised ThePrint that Mann has made it categorically clear in social gathering circles that he’ll staunchly oppose the UCC.
“Pathak’s remark was made in haste and avoidable. It is not uncommon sense that any suggestion on UCC will face robust resistance in Punjab. Additionally, in Gujarat, the social gathering has made good inroads amongst tribals. What goal will talking in favour of the UCC, which doesn’t even exist, serve? It’s a lure set by the BJP,” mentioned a senior AAP chief on the situation of anonymity.
The Aam Aadmi Social gathering additionally confronted warmth from the Opposition Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and the Congress in Punjab following Pathak’s assertion. Whereas the Congress took a swipe on the AAP, asking if the latter has “unique entry to the UCC’s draft”, the SAD accused it of indulging in “double converse”.
(Edited by Richa Mishra)
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