Uniform Civil Code: How Numbers Stack Up In Parliament?

New Delhi: Uniform Civil Code (UCC) has been in buzz after Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke about it in India. As UCC has been Bharatiya Janata Party’s poll promise, it is likely to push it for making UCC a legislation before 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

Before making UCC a legislation which can be made a Pan-India law, it has to clear the ‘Agni Pariksha’- Parliament test. For BJP, passing the UCC will be a cakewalk in the Lok Sabha, as the party holds overwhelming majority in the lower house. But in Rajya Sabha, the party along with its allies falls short of the magic number, making the process of passing UCC in upper house difficult.

BJP has 301 seats in Lok Sabha of 543 seats, having clear majority, which will help the party pass the UCC in the lower house.

But, the party along with its allies, i.ie, National Democratic Alliance, fall short in the Rajya Sabha. The upper house has 245 seats, out of which eight seats are vacant, which bring the tally to 237 seats. To pass the UCC bill, the party needs to have support of 119 Rajya Sabha members.

But, the catch is that BJP has only 92 members in the upper house and the combined number along with its allies comes up to 109 seats in the Rajya Sabha. This means that BJP, along with its allies are falling short of 10 seats to pass UCC smoothly in the upper house.

Talking about Biju Janata Dal and YSR Congress, both are neutral parties and both have nine members in Rajya Sabha. If both the parties support BJP, UCC will be cleared in Rajya Sabha smoothly.

But some reports differ here, claiming that YSR Congress may not support BJP, for passing UCC. With this, if BJP even has support of BJD, it falls short of 1 vote in the upper house.

Here comes Aam Aadmi Party to rescue, having 10 seats in Rajya Sabha (3 in Delhi and 7 in Punjab). If AAP backs UCC in the upper house, the bill would be passed in the Rajya Sabha without any hurdles.

Rajya Sabha elections

As Rajya Sabha elections are scheduled in the monsoon session on July 24, which will be contested by on 10 seats in West Bengal, Gujarat and Goa. In these elections, BJP is likely to gain one more seat in West Bengal, at the expense of Congress.

With getting that one seat, BJP along with its allies will have 110 seats and support of either BJD or AAP with work for them in passing UCC in the Rajya Sabha smoothly.