New Delhi, April 25
Himachal Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur on Monday said the state government would not rush into implementing the Uniform Civil Code but was examining the issue for implementation in the state.
Terming the neighbouring BJP-led Uttarakhand government’s decision to go ahead with the UCC as a “good step and a good start”, Thakur said he had instructed the state officials to study the subject and see if it could be implemented in a better way keeping the nuances of Himachal in mind.
“We will not rush into the decision. It’s a good step and we are examining it. Its implementation is not ruled out before the November state elections. The matter is under active consideration,” said Thakur speaking to The Tribune on the sidelines of an event to inaugurate a media centre at the state government complex here.
He was accompanied by chief secretary Ram Subhag.
Thakur also downplayed the challenge from Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP, saying the state had “never accepted the third alternative”.
They (AAP) can try because in a democracy everyone has the right to try but they won’t succeed, the CM said.
He added that AAP was acutely lacking in local leadership and was “importing leaders from Punjab and Delhi.
“You can’t win Himachal with imported leadership. This is not Punjab. The state has always rejected the third front,” the CM said.
Asked about his top challenge ahead of the November assembly polls, Thakur said, “Election itself is a challenge but our topmost challenge is to repeat the BJP government in the state, something which has not happened since 1985. But now, traditions and conventions are changing. We recently saw the BJP governments being repeated in UP and Uttarakhand. Himachal has only one thing left to do now — elect BJP again.”
The CM described the four 2021 November bypoll losses (Mandi LS and three assembly bypolls Fatehpur, Arki and Jubbal Kotkhai, a result of sympathy wave for the Congress after the demise of former chief minister Virbhadra Singh.
“We lost Mandi Lok Sabha segment by just 1 per cent votes which was about 4000 votes. It was a sympathy election. My home district Mandi was part of the erstwhile royal estate of late Virbhadra ji. We have learnt from those losses and have filled the gaps. Results will be visible in the state elections due in November,” the CM added noting also, that the BJP was “overconfident”.
The mistakes will not be repeated, he said.
Reiterating the BJP‘s commitment to UCC, the CM said “We need to see best ways to implement UCC in Himachal. We will take a decision soon.”
On the Congress, the CM said, he saw no future for the party in the near future and on AAP, he said, the party was a result of circumstances rather than ideological commitment.
Earlier, the CM listed state’s new initiatives including old age pension, full coverage of all households with gas connections and expansion of free health care beyond the national Ayushman Bharat Mission.
He said over 20,000 cows were now secure in cow sanctuaries as against 6,000 in the Congress rule; groundbreaking of investment projects worth Rs 40,000 crore had been done since the 2019 Dharamsala Global Investor Summit; 50,000 grievances of people had been addressed through 209 public platform meetings (Jan Manch) which a cabinet minister attends on the first Sunday of every month in a designated area; over Rs 100 crore loans have been given under CM Swavalamban Yojana to promote entrepreneurship; Rs 31,000 is being put into the bank accounts or daughters of BPL families the day they get married and the world’s longest tunnel measuring nine kilometre at the height of 10,000 feet, ‘Atal Tunnel’ has emerged as a tourist destination of its own.