The Mizo National Front party will quit the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance if a Uniform Civil Code is imposed in Mizoram, the state’s Chief Minister Zoramthanga told The Print on Friday.
The Central government has been preapring ground for the implementation of the code aimed at formulating a common set of personal laws for all communities. Some state governments run by the BJP have even formed committees to chalk out modalities of the code.
The BJP claims that the aim of such uniformity is to ensure equality and justice for women in particular, who are often denied their rights in marriage, divorce and inheritance under patriarchal personal laws.
However, in the northeastern states a uniform civil code would mean doing away with the community-specific personal laws that currently govern matters such as marriage, divorce, alimony, child custody and inheritance.
On Friday, Zoramthanga said that his party supports the BJP-led alliance but that does not mean that it will “obey them on every issue”, The Print reported.
“When the issue is, for example, UCC [Uniform Civil Code] is going to be imposed here in Mizoram, then certainly we cannot be in NDA [National Democratic Alliance],” he said. “But at the same time, I don’t think they will do that. The leaders certainly will have the wisdom to be able to include all the important ingredients for the cementing factor of the NDA.”
He also added that the National Democratic Alliance is wise and mature enough to see that the imposition of a code does not help them. “I don’t think they will make any issue which will necessitate us leaving the NDA,” Zoramthanga said.
Earlier this week too, the chief minister had said that his party does not subscribe to all policies of the BJP.
He has also been vocal about violence in the neighbouring state of Manipur which has a BJP government led by Chief Minister N Biren Singh. On Tuesday, Zoramthanga had participated in a rally in Aizawl, expressing solidarity with the Kuki community. Zoramthanga’s action drew a sharp reaction from Singh who asked him to not interfere in the internal matters of his state.
The ethnic violence between the Meiteis and the Kukis has killed over 160 persons and displaced 60,000 in Manipur. The Mizoram government is sheltering about 13,000 Kuki people who have fled Manipur.