'JD(U) will oppose triple talaq bill in Rajya Sabha'

Picture used for representation. Photo credit: PTI

In a setback to the government's efforts for the passage of the triple talaq bill in Rajya Sabha, BJP ally JD(U) said on Saturday that it will oppose the draft legislation in the Upper House.

JD(U) spokesperson KC Tyagi also slammed the bill, which criminalises instant divorce by Muslim men with a jail term of up to three years, saying it is of "imposing nature" and will "definitely create a lack of trust in society".

"We will oppose the bill," he stressed.

The bill may be tabled in Rajya Sabha on Monday, sources said.

Lok Sabha had passed the bill on July 25 and the nod of Rajya Sabha is now left before it becomes a law and replaces an ordinance, which had enacted a similar provision through an executive decree. 

The JD(U), led by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, had not voted in the bill's support in Lok Sabha and had staged a walkout. It made though little difference as the BJP enjoys a strong majority in the Lower House on its own.

The Bihar-based party may adopt a similar tactic in Rajya Sabha. 

Numbers are much trickier for the saffron alliance in Rajya Sabha where it is still far short of a majority and depends on parties like the BJD, TRS and YSR Congress- which are not aligned to either the BJP-led NDA or the Opposition.

The JD(U), which is otherwise a NDA constituent, has six members in Rajya Sabha, whose current strength is 240, according to details on its website.

 "We believe that ours is a nation based on a delicate balance in respect of laws and governing principles for different religious and ethnic groups. We must not impose any view without obtaining substantive consultations," Tyagi said. 

The JD(U) does believe in reforms but these should be brought after in-depth consultations with various religious and ethnic groups, he added.

The government had recently got the better of the opposition, which includes the Congress, TMC and the Left among others, in Rajya Sabha when it got the RTI bill passed with the support of the BJD, TRS and YSR Congress.

However, these three parties may not take a similar stand on the contentious triple talaq bill, which faces strong opposition by a number of Muslim groups. 

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