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Congress minister in Himachal backs UCC giving party a big jolt

Himachal Pradesh Public Works and Sports Minister Vikramaditya Singh

Shimla: Himachal Pradesh Public Works and Sports Minister Vikramaditya Singh, son of the state’s six-time former Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, has openly backed the country’ ruling BJP and NDA on the implementation of the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) in India.

The young cabinet minister on Friday took to social media to express his views on the need for UCC in the country thus taking a strong line on an issue for which his party has not yet completely spelt out its stand.

On Facebook, the Congress leader said in Hindi, “I fully support the Uniform Civil Code which is necessary for India’s unity and integrity, but it should not be politicised.”

However, at the same time Singh said that the BJP should not politicise the issue ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.

Singh wondered why the NDA government at the Centre did not implement such a law when it enjoyed a complete majority in Parliament for nine years. “Why is there propaganda on it just a few months before the elections. Who stopped the NDA government in the past nine years to enforce UCC in the country,” he questioned.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had in Bhopal speech recently made a strong plea for a UCC — a common law on marriage, divorce and inheritance for people of all faiths.

As the social media post of Singh has gone viral, the Congress party and Chief Minister Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu have chosen not to react.

Vikramaditya Singh’s mother Pratibha Singh, a sitting MP from Mandi, is also the PCC president.

She was one of the Chief Ministerial post aspirants during the 2022 assembly elections and even staked her claim openly invoking the legacy of her late husband Virbhadra Singh, in whose name the elections were fought in the state.

The Congress high command turned down her claim for the Chief Ministerial post and instead chose Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu, who enjoyed support of a majority of MLAs. The Congress had won 40 seats in the 68 member House.

On Saturday, the PWD minister was approached by the media persons for his comments , he chose to stand by his comments.

“Whenever the bill on Uniform Civil Code is brought, we will support it. The Congress party is committed to the unity and integrity of the country and full support would be given to it by the Congress,” he said.

Yet he covertly accused NDA of ‘diverting the attention of the people from core issues such as unemployment and falling growth rate, to push for UCC knowing that the elections were round the corner’.

Before the UCC issue, Vikramditya Singh had spoken/written openly on the construction of Ram Mandir at Ayodhya, Pulwama terror attack and scrapping of Article 370 .

He also hit out at state BJP leaders for maintaining silence on the action of the Union government and the Reserve Bank to reduce the borrowing capacity of Himachal Pradesh.

On a question relating to Himachal’s share in Chandigarh under the Punjab Reorganisation Act 1966, the minister said that the Congress government would continue to pursue the matter and a cabinet sub-committee has been constituted to look into its various aspects and how to put up the case and explore legal actions, if needed.