All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen president Asaduddin Owaisi has claimed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is raising the issue of Uniform Civil Code to get votes in the forthcoming Gujarat Assembly elections and to push its Hindutva agenda.
Addressing an election rally on Saturday at Vadgam in Banaskantha district of Gujarat, where the Assembly polls are due this year-end, the Hyderabad MP also asked if the “exclusion” of Muslims and Christians from income tax benefits for Hindu Undivided Family was not against the principle of equality.
The BJP government in Gujarat on Saturday announced that it would constitute a committee under a retired High Court judge to evaluate all aspects of implementation of the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) in the state.
Owaisi said the Union government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi had told the Supreme Court that enacting the UCC was the Centre’s purview and not that of the states.
“Isn’t it true that Babasaheb Ambedkar said the Uniform Civil Code should be voluntary and not mandatory?…But the BJP only wants to move ahead with its Hindutva agenda and it has the habit of raising such issues before elections to get votes,” he alleged.
A law commission had in 2018 said the UCC was neither necessary nor desirable, he said.
“For a Muslim, marriage is a contract, for a Hindu it is living forever after, for a Christian it is ‘I do’. This is India’s pluralism which has been made possible through Articles 25, 26, 14, 19 and 20 (of the Constitution). Can anyone make a law against Article 29 (which protects the interests of minority groups) by enacting the UCC?” he asked.
“I would like to ask the prime minister why Muslims and Christians are excluded from the benefit of income tax rebate under Hindu Undivided Family? Isn’t it against the right to equality?” he asked.
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