Uttarakhand: BJP set to showcase UCC in Lok Sabha campaign

05:05 PM Mar 16, 2024 | PTI |

Dehradun: For a small state with just five seats, Uttarakhand has been important to the BJP’s ”core agenda”. Just weeks before the announcement of the Lok Sabha polls, its assembly passed the Uniform Civil Code Bill –- the first for any state since Independence.


The UCC law is being seen as a template for similar legislation which could be enacted in other BJP-run states in the future. It would certainly be a factor in Uttarakhand as campaigning picks up for the Lok Sabha elections.

Voting in Uttarakhand will take place on April 19, in the first phase of the Lok Sabha polls announced Saturday.

The BJP has won all five Uttarakhand Lok Sabha seats in the last two parliamentary polls, in 2014 and 2019. The party hopes that the UCC and the inauguration of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya will deliver a hat trick in Uttarakhand.

And then there is the Modi factor.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi has visited the state frequently in the last few years and personally monitored projects in Kedarnath and Badrinath.

The Bharatiya Janata Party also hopes that the successful Silkyara tunnel rescue operation, into which the Centre threw all resources at its command, will be seen as a reason to vote in another Modi government.

All 41 workers were pulled out to safety in the operation in November.

The party is expected to cash in on the development work at pilgrimage sites and the ambitious road, rail and air connectivity projects – including the Char Dham all-weather road and the Rishikesh-Karnaprayag railway line.

The Congress, which hopes to wrest at least a couple of seats from the ruling party, feels the ”real issues” like unemployment, inflation, growing corruption and a spate in crime against women weigh heavier on the minds of the electorate than the BJP’s narrative on Ram Mandir and the UCC.

The party has previously attacked the BJP over land subsidence in Joshimath, the Silkyara tunnel collapse and the Ankita Bhandari murder case, in which the son of a former BJP leader is the main accused.

The Congress was routed by the BJP in Uttarakhand not only in the 2014 and 2019 general elections but also in the two consecutive Assembly polls, held in 2017 and 2022.

The BJP in Uttarakhand is also set to highlight its “strengthened” anti-conversion law and the crackdown against ”land jihad”, a reference to the alleged construction of illegal ‘mazars’ on government land.

The state’s BJP government also boasts of having the country’s ”strictest” anti-copying law to make exams fair for all.

The party has fielded its sitting MPs in three of the five Lok Sabha seats in the state.

Union minister Ajay Bhatt will contest. from Nainital-Udhamsingh Nagar constituency, Tehri royal Mala Rajya Lakshmi Shah from Tehri Garhwal and Ajay Tamta from Almora, the lone reserved SC seat in the state.


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