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YSRC, TD Tread Cautiously on UCC While Muslims, Left Oppose It

DECCAN CHRONICLE | Sampat G Samaritan

Published on: July 10, 2023 | Updated on: July 10, 2023

TD chief Chandrababu Naidu and Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy (PTI File Image)

Vijayawada: As the Centre plans legislation to implement Uniform Civil Code in the country, major political parties like the YSRC, Telugu Desam and Jana Sena are treading cautiously on the issue.

These parties are holding discussions within party forums on what stand they should take, while a major section of Muslims, if not all, and the Leftists are opposing it. They argue that this would encroaches upon the fundamental rights of Muslims. The Congress has not taken a tough stand against the legislation, though.

The UCC deals with a common set of laws on marriage, divorce, inheritance, which are applicable to all Indian citizens irrespective of their religion, caste, tribe, local customs, traditions etc. The BJP is making an all-out effort to introduce and pass the landmark legislation on UCC in the run-up to the Parliament polls in 2024.

Several Muslims sharply criticised the Centre for its UCC plans, saying this was to mislead the Hindus, and blamed the BJP for resorting to vote bank politics.

They alleged that as the Centre could abolish Article 370, manage the construction of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya and outlaw the Islamic practice of triple talaq, the BJP government would hope to get away with this deed too.  The BJP and Prime Minister Modi expect that the Hindus would extend all support to UCC, and can win the next polls on this basis, Muslim leaders assume.

After finding out that the people were unhappy with the Modi government over its functioning at a time when the elections were coming, the BJP came up with UCC to win the polls and retain power," a Muslim elder said.

Muslims describe UCC as unconstitutional say it would even affect their rights while the Constitution guaranteed Religious freedom to the people.

Indian Union Muslim League AP unit president Basheer Ahmad said, "We oppose UCC. The BJP conspires to bring in Manusmriti and trouble Muslims. It wants to polarise the Hindu votes and undercut the concept of ‘unity in diversity’. It also plans to forcibly impose Hindi language all over the country."

On the other hand, the ruling YSRC and the Opposition Telugu Desam are soft-pedaling the UCC issue as they are extending their support to the BJP in several respects.

Machilipatnam YSRC MP Bala Shouri said, "We are expecting our Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy to call a meeting in a few days to discuss UCC and we shall support the party’s stand."

The Telugu Desam too intends to discuss the issue within the party forums. Its national spokesman Pattabhi Ram said, "We are yet to take a decision and are holding discussions."

So is the case with Jana Sena, a BJP ally.

However, the CPI is opposing UCC. Its AP secretary K. Ramakrishnan said, "BJP appears to be in a hurry to get the legislation on UCC passed without even seeking the opinions of the stakeholders. This is done with its mala fide intentions."

Former MLC P.V.N. Madhav of the BJP said, "We are holding consultations with all stakeholders. The UCC is not anti-Muslim as is being misinterpreted. We are getting support from nearly 60 per cent of the Muslims."