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UCC draft could be debated in assembly if received before start of session: U'khand minister

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NewsDrum Desk
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Dehradun, Jan 27 (PTI) Uttarakhand Minister Premchand Agarwal on Saturday said a debate on the draft of the UCC could be on the agenda of the upcoming state assembly session, if it is submitted by the government-appointed expert panel in time.

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The state finance and parliamentary affairs minister said another major subject on the agenda of the four-day session, from February 5 to 8, is the passage of a legislation granting 10 per cent horizontal reservation to statehood agitationists.

Uttarakhand was carved out of Uttar Pradesh as a separate state in 2000. "We expect the UCC drafting panel to submit its report soon. If we get it in time, a debate on the draft report of the UCC (Uniform Civil Code) could be on the agenda of this (assembly) session," Agarwal told PTI.

However, the panel headed by retired Supreme Court judge Ranjana Prakash Desai has been given an extension of 15 days and it is free to submit the draft of the UCC whenever it is ready or thinks it appropriate, he said.

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"Both the subjects (draft UCC and reservation) are very important for us. Bringing the UCC was a major pre-poll promise made by us and we will bring it in the House for a detailed discussion, if we get its draft before the start of the forthcoming session," the BJP leader said.

On Congress leader Harish Rawat's remarks that the UCC is just an "exercise in futility" and an eyewash as different states have different views on it, Agarwal said the draft has not been received yet and its content cannot be a matter of speculation.

"If the draft is received, a detailed debate on it will be held on the floor of the assembly which is a large platform. Then we will initiate steps to give legal sanctity. I invite suggestions from Congress members too on it," the former speaker of the Uttarakhand assembly said.

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Rawat had claimed that several states have reservations about the UCC. Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma (a senior BJP leader), Rawat had claimed, is in favour of excluding the tribal community from the ambit of the UCC.

"If different states have different UCCs, the very purpose of having a common law for all sections of society across the country will be defeated," Rawat had said.

The UCC issue is being hyped because the BJP government in Uttarakhand has no concrete achievements to talk about, the former chief minister had said. PTI ALM ALM ANB ANB

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