If UCC is included in election manifesto and it gets implemented, then no room for caste: BJP leader Suresh Gopi

Addressing party workers in Kannur, Gopi said a government which stands for the implementation of UCC is currently in power at the Centre.

BySouth First Desk

Published Jan 30, 2024 | 2:10 PMUpdatedJan 30, 2024 | 2:10 PM

Suresh Gopi during a protest

Actor-turned-BJP leader Suresh Gopi said, on Monday, 29 January, that if the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) is included in the BJP’s manifesto for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, it will be implemented, and there would be no place for caste in the country.

Addressing party workers in Kannur, the former Rajya Sabha MP said that a government which stands for the implementation of the UCC is currently in power at the Centre.

“If it (UCC) is included in the next election manifesto and if it gets implemented, then where is the room for caste…Isn’t that what we all wish for? That will happen,” Gopi said.

Suresh Gopi is expected to contest the Lok Sabha polls from Thrissur in Kerala on the BJP ticket.

Among the 20 Lok Sabha constituencies in Kerala, the BJP focuses primarily on Thrissur and this time, it is banking largely on the popularity of Gopi.

So far, the party has yet to win even a single Lok Sabha seat in Kerala. In the case of the state Assembly, party veteran O Rajagopal won only once, and that too by a thin majority amidst a divided mandate.

The leader was speaking during the NDA foot march led by BJP state chief K Surendran.

Taking a dig at the CPI(M)-led LDF government in the state, he said this assurance was not like the promise made by someone regarding the implementation of the K-Rail semi-high-speed rail corridor.

“This (UCC) will happen for sure,” Gopi added.

Also Read: Suresh Gopi to try his — and BJP’s — luck in Lok Sabha polls again

Suresh Gopi’s political career

Gopi is the chosen and beloved option of the BJP’s national leadership. He unsuccessfully contested from Thrissur in 2019 to the Lok Sabha as well as in the 2021 Assembly election.

A former Rajya Sabha member, Kollam-born Gopi has maintained Thrissur as his base since 2019.

The party’s claim to his popularity is based on the 2.93 lakh votes he got in the 2019 Lok Sabha fight, instead of the maximum one lakh votes normal for a BJP candidate.

An active SFI worker during his college days, Gopi started adoring Indira Gandhi and the Congress during the Emergency. He later identified himself as being apolitical.

In 2006, he actively campaigned for his relative and Congress candidate MP Gangadharan in the Ponnani Assembly constituency and CPI (M) veteran VS Achuthanandan in Malampuzha, marking it the first time a celebrity campaigned for both rival fronts, the UDF and LDF, in Kerala.

When asked, he said he admired both leaders. Over the next 10 years, he won Modi’s trust and was nominated to the Rajya Sabha in 2016.

Also Read: Police quiz Suresh Gopi for allegedly misbehaving with woman

Case against Gopi

The former BJP Rajya Sabha member landed in trouble after a video surfaced online in which he was seen placing his hand on the shoulder of the journalist, who tried to shrug away twice.

Based on her complaint, the Nadakkavu Police in Kozhikode on 28 October, registered the case against Gopi. She lodged the complaint along with the purported video of the incident with the city police commissioner, who, in turn, handed it over to the local police station for further action.

The woman journalist also took up the issue with the Kerala Women’s Commission, which sought a report from the district police chief.

“A case was registered against Suresh Gopi under IPC 354,” a police officer told PTI. Section 354 of the IPC deals with assault or use of criminal force against any woman, intending to outrage her modesty.

On 8 January, the Kerala High Court granted anticipatory bail to the actor.

Justice Sophy Thomas directed the police to grant him bail in case he was arrested.

The anticipatory bail was granted after the state government submitted before the court that there were no circumstances for arrest as of now.

(With PTI inputs)