New Delhi: Less than a week before the Himachal Pradesh election, the ruling BJP announced on Sunday that if the party is re-elected, it will implement a Uniform Civil Code, which will eliminate religion-specific legislation.
Because a civil code is usually thought to be the purview of the federal government rather than a state, the opposition has criticised the plan, which was also promised in Gujarat, which holds elections next month, as merely a gimmick to shore up votes of the Hindu majority.
The BJP in Himachal Pradesh has pledged to conduct “surveys” of Waqf holdings, which are Islamic estates provided for charitable or religious purposes, to look for any illicit activity. The action, which was implemented in BJP-ruled Uttar Pradesh in September, drew criticism for its polarising intent.
The BJP’s manifesto also includes promises to create 8 lakh “employment possibilities” in five years, lower the Goods and Services Tax (GST) on packaging for the state’s important apple harvest from 18% to 12%, and give 33% of government jobs for women.
It was announced by BJP President JP Nadda, who is from the Himalayan state, and included promises of five new medical schools, scooters for college girls, and cycles for female students in Classes 6 through 12.
In keeping with the pledge made in Gujarat, Nadda stated that the state will create a committee to develop a uniform civil code.
Additionally, he criticised the Saturday-released Congress manifesto, saying it lacked both vision and weight.
Along with Gujarat, where voting will take place in two phases on December 1 and 5, the 68-member Himachal Pradesh Assembly election will take place on November 12 with results anticipated on December 8.
As the Aam Aadmi Party of Arvind Kejriwal attempts to enter the state, the BJP, which has always alternated with the Congress in Himachal Pradesh elections, hopes to break this pattern.