Patnaik slammed for supporting triple talaq bill

Biju Janata Dal (BJD) president and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. File photo

The Odisha unit of the Congress strongly criticised the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) president and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for his party’s decision to support the BJP-led NDA government in passing important bills in Parliament, including the controversial triple talaq legislation which was adopted in the Rajya Sabha last Tuesday.

“It would not have been possible for the BJP-led NDA government to pass the triple talaq bill in Rajya Sabha but for the support of BJD. The regional outfit had even issued whip to its Rajya Sabha members under the direction of Patnaik to be present in the house and support the bill,” senior Congress MLA, Tara Prasad Bahinipati said, adding that the regional outfit’s move exposed the double standard adopted by Patnaik and his party.

In this context, he said that before the general elections this year, the BJD and BJP were publicly opposing each other and the ruling regional outfit was often saying that it believed in maintaining an equidistant from both Congress and the BJP.

“However, after the elections, everything changed. The BJD’s post-poll actions including its decision to support the BJP led NDA government to pass crucial bills in Parliament clearly confirmed in which side of the fence the regional outfit was. It is time for Naveen Babu to explain to the people of Odisha if he runs a BJD government or a BJD-BJP coalition government,” Bahinipati quipped.

The Patnaik-led regional outfit has come out with a strongly worded response and said the party’s decision to support the bills in Parliament was “issue-based”.

"We believe in woman empowerment and therefore we supported the triple talaq bill,” said Pramila Mallick, the ruling party’s chief whip in the state Assembly. She further maintained that the Congress party must explain how and why all Congress votes were transferred to BJP’s kitty during the recent elections in the state.

“The vote transfer clearly confirmed that it was not us but the Congress which had links with the BJP,” Mallick who was a former chief of BJD’s women wing said.

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