BJP Promises Uniform Civil Code In Himachal If Voted Back To Power


The BJP released its manifesto for the Himachal Pradesh elections on Sunday.


Less than a week before Himachal Pradesh votes, the ruling BJP on Sunday promised to bring in a Uniform Civil Code – a contentious issue among Muslims because it will do away with religion-specific laws – if the party is voted back to power.

The move, also promised in Gujarat which votes next month, has been slammed by the opposition as just a gimmick to shore up votes of the Hindu majority because a civil code is widely believed to be the domain of the centre rather than a state.

The BJP in Himachal Pradesh also promised “surveys” of Waqf properties – Islamic estates donated for religious or welfare work – to check for anything illegal. The move, when introduced in BJP-ruled Uttar Pradesh in September, was also criticised as one intended to polarise people.

Other highlights of the BJP’s manifesto include a promise to provide 8 lakh “job opportunities” in five years, a reduction in the Goods and Services Tax or GST on packaging for the state’s key crop of apples from 18 per cent to 12, and 33 per cent reservation for women in government jobs.

Released by BJP president JP Nadda, who belongs to the Himalayan state, it also promised cycles for girl students in Classes 6 to 12, scooters for college girls and five new medical schools.

Mr Nadda said to implement a Uniform Civil Code, the state will form a committee – a repeat of the promise made in Gujarat.

He also criticised the Congress manifesto – released on Saturday – saying it lacks both vision and weight.

Elections for the 68-member Himachal Pradesh Assembly will be held on November 12 with results expected on December 8, along with those for Gujarat, where polls will be held in two phases on December 1 and 5.

Himachal Pradesh has generally alternated between the BJP and Congress in every election – a tradition that the ruling party would hope to reverse at a time when Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party tries to foray into the state.


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