No live-in curbs, but parents of 18-21 yr-olds will be informed: Uttarakhand CM | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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No live-in curbs, but parents of 18-21 yr-olds will be informed: Uttarakhand CM

May 25, 2024 06:14 AM IST

Uttarakhand CM Dhami confident of BJP winning third term, praises central schemes. Talks about Char Dham Yatra, UCC, live-ins, and Himalayan development.

With the Lok Sabha election results less than two weeks away, Uttarakhand chief minister Pushkar Singh Dhami exuded confidence of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) coming to power at the Centre for a third straight term, saying several central schemes have had a positive impact on voters. In an interview to Chetan Chauhan, he spoke on a range of issues such as the about unprecedented pilgrims’ rush for the Char Dham Yatra, the UCC and how live-in relationships will be regulated in the Himalayan state. Edited Excerpts.

Pushkar Singh Dhami (HT Photo)
Pushkar Singh Dhami (HT Photo)

You have campaigned in many states. What are the main issues in these elections?

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In 10 years of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s period, lots of schemes were introduced for helping the poor such as Ayushman Bharat, Jal Jeevan Mission, Lakhpati Didi. People are appreciating these schemes. Big decisions like scrapping of Article 370, introduction of CAA, surgical strikes and strengthening of Armed Forces have had a positive impact on the voters. Construction of Ram Temple and development of religious places have for the first time strengthened the Sanatan philosophy. India is now seen as a global power, with our achievements in space and Covid vaccine development being appreciated the world over. Every Indian thinks what is happening today has never happened before. I have travelled across India and seen people enthusiastic to see Modi ji as PM for the third term.

The Congress has accused the BJP and Modi of making it Hindu-Muslim elections as they don’t have anything good to show. It has also complained to the Election Commission.

In the last 10 years, a lot of development work has happened. The Congress and its alliance are disturbed at their truths are being told to the people. In its manifesto, Congress said it will implement personal law strictly. Personal law is only in Sharia law.

In Hindus, too, there are personal laws such as the Hindu Marriage Act and the Hindu Succession Act.

But we are speaking about uniform civil code (UCC). In Uttarakhand, we have passed a UCC law as promised. On one side, there is Sharia law and on the other side is the uniform personal law. There is (RJD chief) Lalu Prasad, who talks about reservation for Muslims and in Karnataka, when the Congress formed the government, they introduced reservation for Muslims. In unified Andhra [Pradesh], they did something similar and now the Bengal (Calcutta) high court order has scrapped reservation given to Muslims. They (opposition) are finishing the Constitution by introducing religion-based reservation.

Muslims get reservation in Gujarat as well. OBC reservation is class based and can be provided irrespective of religion. For instance, if reservation is provided to Mallah class, then irrespective of whether they are Hindu, Muslims or Christians, they get reservation.

They (the opposition) have made a new system of giving reservation on the basis of religion. They have done politics of polarisation.

By when UCC rules will be framed and how live-in relationship will be regulated.

We will have a system to inform the parents of those living together in the age group of 18-21. We are not bringing any restriction for people in live-in relationships, we are only concerned about their security. There have been incidents of their bodies found in suit cases (referring to Shraddha Walkar case). When such incidents happen, parents repent their entire life. We have formed a committee under former chief secretary Shatrughan Singh to frame the rules, and it will submit its report soon.

By when will the UCC rules be notified?

Very soon. Most of the work has been completed and because of model code, there can be some delay.

A large number of people are coming to Uttarakhand for Char Dham Yatra and many experts believe it is creating huge ecological danger for upper Himalayas. Close to a million people have arrived since the yatra started earlier this month as compared to the 5.6 million in the entire yatra season (April to November) in 2023. How will you regulate the pilgrim influx and will there be a policy on this?

We have conducted carrying capacity studies for all dhams. In Kedarnath, 20,000 people can be allowed; in Badrinath, 30,000 and about 12,000 in Yamunotri. The way we have developed the Char Dhams and all-weather roads, this year more people are coming. Another reason is that last year the yatra started on April 22 and this year, it started on May 10. Because of closure of schools and colleges, there is a sudden rush. That is why, we have closed offline registration till May 31. We allow pilgrims on basis of bearing capacity of the dhams and yatra is being regulated accordingly.

The Himalayas are young fold mountains. Because of the pilgrim rush, unplanned development is taking place and experts say it will have its ecological cost. What steps are being taken to prevent ecological loss of the Himalayas?

Our development model is based on ecology and economic balance. Development is also important for us. We have conducted load bearing capacity studies for major towns in Uttarakhand. If there is construction more than bearing capacity, we are stopping further construction and strict rules are being implemented.

Need of the Himalayan states and their people is different from plains of India. Do you agree there should be a separate ministry for Himalayan states?

PM Modi has ensured rapid development of the Himalayan states. I agree with you that the model of development for entire country cannot be applicable for Himalayan states and it should have a separate model considering needs of people living there and local ecology. I have raised this issue before the NITI Aayog. In next term, the PM would take important decisions and it will also benefit Himalayan states.

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