Positive About the Future of Special Rights for Tribes: On UCC, BJP ST Wing Leader

Samir Oraon, a BJP MP and the leader of the Scheduled Tribes Morcha, expressed confidence on Monday that the community would continue to retain its unique privileges despite resistance to a uniform civil code from certain tribal organizations.

A tribal MP from Jharkhand named Oraon praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s initiatives to develop the tribe and said that a leader with his qualities would assure the continuation of the special laws created only for them.

The BJP spokesman pointed out that in addition to the laws governing their traditions, tribals and tribal areas also have unique privileges under the Constitution’s fifth and sixth schedules since it was thought vital to provide them a distinct privilege while attempts were being made to integrate them into society.

He said that opponents of the Uniform Civil Code should not mislead the tribal populace since consultations are still ongoing and no firm decisions have been made.

Oraon advised anyone with thoughts to voice them to the Law Commission, which has solicited input from many stakeholders, and to wait for its report.

He praised PM Modi’s “commitment” to the welfare of the tribal groups and mentioned his most recent encounter with them when visiting Madhya Pradesh.

While the Law Commission is conducting consultations on the UCC, certain tribal communities have urged that they not be included in the law, and the opposition parties have accused the BJP, which is in power, of raising the subject as a gimmick for the next elections.

Some northeastern states, where indigenous people predominate, have also been against it.

The Union Home Minister promised the Nagaland team, headed by Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, a sympathetic ear when they recently met with him to discuss their concerns on the UCC and other matters.

Sushil Modi, the head of the parliamentary law panel and a member of the BJP, recently argued in favor of exempting indigenous people, especially those in the North East, from any potential Uniform Civil Code.

A uniform civil code is a collection of rules that govern marriage, divorce, inheritance, adoption, and other private concerns that are applicable to all people without regard to their religious beliefs.

UCC has long been one of the three main election platforms of the BJP, along with repealing Article 370, which granted Jammu and Kashmir special status, and erecting the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya.

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