All parties in the Nagaland Assembly on Monday expressed their opposition to a Uniform Civil Code and passed a resolution against it.

The Central government has been preparing ground for the implementation of a code aimed at formulating a common set of personal laws related to marriage, adoption, inheritance and more for all communities. Some state governments run by the BJP have formed committees to chalk out the modalities of such a code.

On Monday, Kuzholuzo Nienu of the Naga People’s Front initiated the discussion on the matter in the House and said that imposing such a code “on the diverse communities across the country will be futile and counterproductive”, a press release issued by the Nagaland Assembly stated.

Nienu pointed out that Article 371(A) of the Constitution would provide an exemption to the Naga community if a Uniform Civil Code is ratified by Parliament. The provision states that no Act of Parliament would apply to Nagaland in matters relating to the religious or social practices of the Naga community.

Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio told the House that Nagaland should be exempted from a Uniform Civil Code on account of the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation Act. The law grants judicial, executive and legislative powers to Nagaland, as well as autonomy in land-related matters.

In July, the Mizo National Front had also threatened to sever its coalition ties with the Bharatiya Janata Party if a Uniform Civil Code is imposed in Mizoram.

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 lead to the dilution of the special privileges that the Constitution guarantees to tribal communities in the region.

Also read: Why the Uniform Civil Code has few takers in the North East