Cong, BJP continue to lock horns over triple talaq

Law will lead to broken families, says Cong; BJP decries double standards

Cong, BJP continue to lock horns over triple talaq

After hits and misses in Parliament, the Congress and the BJP continued to spar over the triple talaq bill with Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar accusing the Opposition of stalling the initiative to empower Muslim women.

"The intention of the Modi government is clear. We want equality and respect for Muslim women, and the Congress is opposing it. They have just shown their double standards," Kumar told reporters soon after the Winter Session of Parliament concluded.

Broken families

The Congress hit back at the BJP, claiming that the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill in its current form will only lead to broken families as the legislation has no provision for giving subsistence allowance to women given triple talaq by their husbands.

Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad also expressed surprise over the perceived support to the bill among a section of Muslims. "You are accepting a law that seeks to destroy families by sending husbands to jail and bring Muslim women on the streets. Can you call this a forward-looking and progressive law," he wondered.

Azad said the Congress was against the practice of triple talaq or talaq-e-biddat that has been declared void by the Supreme Court. "We also support the bill, but have strong reservations to some of its provisions," he said.

Against jail term

Azad said the Congress was against a three-year jail term for Muslim men divorcing their wives through triple talaq, the provisions that make it a non-bailable and cognizable offence. He said the Congress was also opposed to the clause that mandates the husband to pay compensation to his divorced wife, who will also have the possession of children.

"I am yet to come across a company that pays salary to a person in jail to enable him to give compensation to his divorced wife," he said.

Minister Ananth Kumar slammed the Congress for "stalling" the bill and accused the Opposition party of being against empowerment of women. "We hope the Congress will understand the public opinion on the issue, reconsider their stand and pass it in the budget session. There is anger among people on this issue," Kumar said.

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