The Triple Talaq Bill could not be taken up for discussion in the Rajya Sabha on Monday as a united Opposition insisted on sending the proposed legislation to a select committee for further scrutiny.
Deputy Chairman Harivansh adjourned the House for Wednesday at 2.28 pm as din continued in the Upper House over Opposition’s demand for a select committee.
As soon as the Rajya Sabha assembled at 2 pm, AIADMK MPs rushed to the Well of the House on Cauvery issue even as Harivansh called Congress MP Subirama Reddy to move the statutory resolution opposing the bill, but he was not present. The House was adjourned for 15 minutes and later for the day.
Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said the bill was very crucial and requires further scrutiny and claimed that more than half of the members belonging to several parties have demanded that the bill be sent to a select committee. TMC’ Derek O’Brien said he has submitted a resolution in this regard, and wanted the bill to be sent to the Rajya Sabha panel.
Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Vijay Goel said the government was ready for a discussion and accused the Opposition of playing politics. Congress’ Deputy Leader in Rajya Sabha Anand Sharma said, “The government is misleading the people. If the bill has been passed without legislative scrutiny in the Lok Sabha, then it should not be passed here without referring to a select committee. The Rajya Sabha is not a rubber stamp.”
Intervening, Law Minister Ravishankar Prasad said, “We want to discuss it here and are ready to listen to any suggestion. Even after bringing the ordinance, there have been incidents of triple talaq till yesterday. It is a question of gender equality.”
Opposition sources said they have submitted a fresh notice for sending the bill to a select committee when it comes before the Upper House next time.
Opposition sources also speculate that NDA ally JD(U) may abstain in case of voting to cater to its minority votes in Bihar, while the BJD has said it wanted changes.
While the BJD is “silent” on the demand for a select committee, a senior BJD MP in Rajya Sabha told DH, “We want the bill to be passed, but we want changes in the bill. There should not be any jail term. We want to substitute it with a penalty.”