Addressing the media on Saturday, 2 September, Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma stated that there is a "strong public support for ban on polygamy in the state."
Taking to social media platform X (formerly Twitter), Sarma wrote, "We have received a total of 149 suggestions in response to our public notice. Out of these, 146 suggestions are in favour of the bill, indicating strong public support. However, three organisations have expressed their opposition to the bill."
"Final Drafting To Be Done in 45 Days"
Sarma stated that the final drafting of the proposed legislation will commence now and be completed within 45 days.
We will also try and include the issue of 'Love Jihad' in the bill. By December, we should be able to introduce it in the Assembly session.Himanta Biswa Sarma, Assam CM
Earlier, the Assam government had issued a notice on 21 August seeking public opinion on the proposed law on the controversial subject.
The notice reportedly shared by Sarma on X, had requested the people to send their opinion by 30 August through email or by post.
It's important to note that even in May last year, Sarma called for the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) which would act as “protection” for “Muslim daughters". The CM has repeatedly called for a ban on polygamy.
According to the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5), "The rate of polygamy among Hindu women in Assam was about 1.8% as compared to 3.6% among Muslim women." The Quint has done an extensive piece on polygamy, the reality and myths that surround the same in India.
The Assam government formed an expert committee on 12 May to study the legislative competence of the Assembly to enact a law banning polygamy. The report which was submitted on 6 August stated that the state legislature is competent to enact a law to ban the marital practice.
The four-member expert committee was headed by retired judge Justice Rumi Kumari Phukan and included other members such as state advocate-general Devajit Saikia, senior additional advocate-general Nalin Kohli and senior advocate Nekibur Zaman.