Triple Talaq Bill in cold storage? Oppn issues whip

Both the ruling BJP and Opposition believe that they would gain if the Triple Talaq Bill is stalled, as it would help them to address the concerns of their constituencies. PTI

The contentious Triple Talaq Bill may not come up again in Rajya Sabha before the Winter Session concludes on Tuesday.

But the Opposition is not leaving any stone unturned to prevent its passage with parties like Congress issuing whips to its MPs to be present in the House in the next two days.

Opposition sources said they believe the government is unlikely to bring the Triple Talaq Bill either on Monday or Tuesday as discussion and passage of Supplementary Grants of Demands and a short duration discussion of agrarian crisis.

However, the Opposition, which is demanding that the bill will be sent to the Rajya Sabha Select Committee for scrutiny, is not taking any risk and has asked all its MPs to be present in the House on both days fearing that the government may bring it if the numbers are weak.

The Congress, the Samajwadi Party and the Trinamool Congress have issued whips to their MPs to be present in the House. The Opposition bloc wants the government to omit clauses that stipulate jail term for Muslims who seek instant triple talaq.


READ: BJP, Opp believe in gains if Triple Talaq Bill stalled


"The BJP does not have the numbers. I would not be surprised if their numbers reduce to around 80. With Shiv Sena attacking the BJP during the Rafale discussions, it is a curious situation. Chances are less than the Triple Talaq Bill will come," a senior Opposition leader said.

On Monday, the Rajya Sabha is likely to take up the supplementary demands for grants. The short duration discussion on the agrarian crisis is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon but usually, on the last day, the House is adjourned sine-die in the morning session.

In the 244-member Rajya Sabha, the Opposition has the upper hand on Triple Talaq Bill as it expects to garner at least 117 votes.

For the ruling BJP-led NDA, the numbers are stacked against them as ally JD(U) has made it clear that it will abstain from voting on the bill owing to political compulsions in Bihar, where it has a chunk of minority votes.

The AIADMK and the TRS, which have rarely gone against the NDA, will also abstain from voting due to their opposition to the Bill. The BJD is also seeking changes in the bill.

Both the ruling BJP and Opposition believe that they would gain if the bill is stalled, as it would help them to address the concerns of their constituencies.

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.

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.

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, the BJP cannot bulldoze this. We will expose their political game plan," a senior Opposition leader has said.

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Triple Talaq Bill in cold storage? Oppn issues whip

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