Meghalaya government turned down the opposition's demand for an official resolution against the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) on the ground that the Centre was yet to come up with a Bill on the matter.
The resolution was moved by opposition Congress legislator Charles Marngar and supported by MLAs of the All India Trinamool Congress (AITC) and Voice of the People Party (VPP) in the Assembly.
In his reply, Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma said the state government is against the concept of the UCC as it goes against the idea of India which is 'diversity'.
However, the government cannot just pass a resolution prematurely without knowing the content of the UCC Bill, he added.
"Question arises that can we as legislators oppose or pass a resolution without knowing the content of the UCC Bill. Outside the House, we can speak on the basis of what we think may happen, but as a legislator, the first thing we need to have in front of us is the UCC Bill," Sangma said.
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He said it doesn't mean just because other states have done it, Meghalaya too should pass a resolution. "That is why we need to apply our mind. Only after seeing the UCC Bill, we will take a stand as a government," he added.
The chief minister assured that the House will stand united to oppose any move by anybody including Parliament to dilute the identity, rights, culture and practices of the indigenous people of Meghalaya.
“If there is any proposal in the proposed Bill to dilute the practices of the tribals in terms of religion, marriages and inheritance, the state government and the Assembly will never agree to it," he said. He informed that the matter was also discussed during an MDA meeting on how to proceed on the issue.
Meanwhile, the chief minister informed that the state government will soon submit its views and suggestions on the UCC to the Law Commission. Satisfied with the reply of the chief minister, Marngar decided to withdraw the resolution. "Since I now understand the mind of the government that it is also concerned about the UCC, I beg to withdraw this resolution," he said.
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