Guwahati: The Assam government has already conveyed to the authorities concerned that it is in support of the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) and wants to ban polygamy in the state immediately, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said on Thursday.
The UCC is a matter which will be decided by Parliament, but the state can also take a call on it with the assent of the President, Sarma said at the sidelines of a programme here.
‘UCC involves various issues and the Law Commission as well as the Parliamentary Committee is looking into it. The Assam government has already conveyed that it is in its support,’ the chief minister said.
Pending the decision on the UCC, ‘we want to take one of its segments polygamy – and ban it immediately. We are planning to introduce a Bill to ban it in the next assembly session in September,” he said.
Sarma, also a senior BJP leader, said if the state government is unable to table the Bill for some reason, it will be done in the January session.
“In the meantime, however, if the UCC is implemented, we do not have to take this action as it will be merged with it,’ he said.
Regarding the Congress’ opposition to the UCC, the chief minister wondered if a leader of that party has a daughter, ‘will the person marry her off to somebody with two wives’.
‘The problem is that Congress leaders do not realise the pain of Muslim women. They take their votes but they do not want to give back anything to them’, he said.
The Congress wants the votes of both Muslim men and women but they want to serve only the men, Sarma added.
‘Even Nabi (The Prophet) did not support polygamy as he had said that all Muslims should ideally have one wife. These are the essential points of Islam. The Congress should not support polygamy and stand with Muslim women, even if they lose some votes,’ he said.
The Congress had opposed the abolition of triple talaq and now the UCC, so in a way the party is ‘waging a war against Muslim women’, he said.
‘When they (Muslim women) emancipate themselves from the influence of the male, they will punish the Congress’, Sarma claimed.
Regarding opposition by AIUDF’s Badruddin Ajmal, Sarma asserted that he is the voice of Muslim men and not women.
‘We are always interacting with Muslim women and they say that they have a problem as they cannot speak out openly. They also tell us that Allah will always bless Prime Minister Narendra Modi,’ the BJP leader said.
The UCC refers to a common set of laws on marriage, divorce and inheritance that would be applicable to all Indian citizens irrespective of religion, tribe or other local customs.
The Law Commission had on June 14 initiated a fresh consultation process on UCC by seeking views from stakeholders, including public and recognised religious organisations, on the politically sensitive issue.
Implementation of the UCC has been part of the BJP’s election manifesto.