BJP, Opp believe in gains if Triple Talaq Bill stalled

BJP, Opp believe in gains if Triple Talaq Bill stalled

India Movement activists during a protest against the Triple Talaq Bill at Parliament Street, in New Delhi. PTI Photo

Ruling BJP may be able to prevent the contentious Triple Talaq Bill being sent to a Rajya Sabha Select Committee while Opposition could be successful installing its passage in its present form.

Both sides feel that they stand to gain from such a situation as it could allow them to address the concerns of their constituencies.

After the passage of the bill in Lok Sabha last week, it was brought in Rajya Sabha on Monday but a discussion on the issue could not be taken up as a numerically strong Opposition insisted that the proposed law be sent to a Select Committee for further legislative scrutiny.

BJP leaders said if the Bill is not passed, the onus is on the Opposition for stalling a move that will "ensure justice to Muslim women".

However, the Opposition feels that the bill in the present form will be a travesty of justice to Muslim women.


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The ruling side said they will go to the people saying the Opposition is stalling the bill to appease the conservative Muslim, an argument that they believe would attract majority community voters.

"This is the best scenario for us. If the Bill is not passed, we can go to our constituency. We can even attract some Muslim women voters," a senior BJP leader said.

However, the Congress-led Opposition said that this argument will not work. "We are opposing the criminal provisions in the bill because divorce is a civil matter. Just for political reasons, BJP cannot bulldoze this. We will expose their political game plan," a senior Opposition leader said.

Opposition leaders said the Triple Talaq Bill is opposed in its present form by at least 17 parties. If one adds JD(U), BJD and TRS, they said, it comes to 20 while on the other hand, BJP can boast about the support of only Shiv Sena and Akali Dal.

The passage of the Bill will also bring the fault-lines in the ruling combine as the six-member JD(U), an NDA ally, has told the BJP leadership that it may not be able to support the legislation in its present form and would abstain from voting owing to their Muslim constituency in Bihar.

AIADMK, which usually supports the BJP-led NDA though not an official ally, has made clear its opposition to the bill. Though the 13-member AIADMK has signed a united Opposition resolution seeking to refer the Bill to Select Committee, it may not vote in favour but abstain.

In a House of 244, the Opposition claims the support of 117 members while hoping that it could rise to even 130 in case AIADMK decides to vote. For the BJP, crossing the 100-mark may be also difficult as TRS (6 MPs) is also likely to abstain from voting in favour of the government.

While supporting the Bill, the BJD wants changes in the provisions but is silent on the demand for Select Committee. "We want the bill to be passed but we want changes in the bill. There should not be a jail term. We want to substitute it with a penalty," a senior BJD MP has said.