In the placid plains of Uttarakhand, a controversy has swept through the social and political lives of people following the passage of the Uniform Civil Code bill by the Assembly on February 8. Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami tells Narendra Sethi that he has fulfilled his 2022 election promise. The measure makes Uttarakhand the first state in the country to have cleared such a move with a majority vote. The UCC will provide a legal framework for uniform marriage, divorce, land, property, and inheritance laws for all citizens, irrespective of their religion. Excerpts:How do you perceive the implications of the UCC Bill?It is a moment of pride for all the people of the state that we will be known as the first state in the country to move towards implementing UCC. We promised of such a measure to the residents of ‘Devbhoomi’ during the 2022 elections. On our way to the passage of the Bill, first we passed a resolution to that effect in our inaugural cabinet meeting. Subsequently, an expert committee, tasked with drafting the bill in a span of 20 months, submitted its comprehensive report to us on February 2. Following its presentation in the Assembly on February 6, the bill underwent a thorough deliberation before it was successfully passed on February 8, with nearly all members of the House articulating their support during the discussion on the Bill.After UCC implementation, what positive social changes do you anticipate will flow from the new law?As its name implies, UCC is a common law that embodies the principles of equality and harmony for all. The privilege of passing the law has been bestowed upon the Uttarakhand Assembly. The draft presented to enact this law has been meticulously crafted through extensive dialogue with the people of the state. The drafting committee has incorporated 2,33,000 suggestions and 43 programmes, and engaged in 10,000 dialogues to ensure a comprehensive and inclusive approach. We hope that after the implementation of the new law, there will be unprecedented positive changes in the lives of women, the elderly, and children in the state.