GUWAHATI: Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa
said on Thursday his government wants “to take up one of the segments of Uniform Civil Code (
)” and ban polygamy in the state “immediately” by tabling a bill in the assembly.
The Assam government set up a four-member expert committee in May to examine if polygamy can be banned in the state through a state law. The committee headed by retired Gauhati high court judge Rumi Phukan has been given 60 days to submit its report.
“If the state expert committee gives its report before the decision on UCC, we want to introduce our bill for banning polygamy in the state in the assembly session in September. If for some reason we cannot do it in September, we will do it in the January session,” Sarma said.
He explained that if UCC is implemented in the meantime, “we do not have to take this action as the ban on polygamy will be there”.
Sarma said UCC will be decided by Parliament, but the state can take a call with the President’s approval. “UCC involves various issues and the Law Commission as well as the parliamentary committee are looking into it. The Assam government has already conveyed its support to the proposal,” Sarma said.
The CM brushed aside opposition to UCC. “The problem is that Congress leaders do not realise the pain of Muslim women. They take their votes but do not want to give back anything to them,” he said. Also, he dismissed AIUDF chief Badruddin Ajmal’s objection to UCC as representative of the Muslim male voice. 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.