Triple talaq bill in RS today; Cong to oppose it

The contentious triple talaq bill seeking to criminalise the practice of instant divorce among Muslims is set to be tabled in the Rajya Sabha on Monday, even as the Congress has said it will not allow its passage in the present form. PTI file photo

The Triple Talaq Bill is all set to rock the Rajya Sabha with the BJP-led government wanting it to pass the legislation on Monday itself even as Opposition making it clear that it needs further scrutiny.

Both ruling BJP and Congress have issued three-line whip to its party MPs to be present in the House when the Bill will be taken up in the post-noon session.

Opposition leaders met at Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad's office in Parliament to give final touches to their strategy when the Bill is taken up. 

Several Opposition MPs have given notices for sending the Bill to Select Committee and they will insist that their motion should be taken up first.

The numbers are stacked against the BJP in the Upper House where Opposition is hoping to garner support of 130 MPs, including 13 from the AIADMK that usually supports NDA, in case of a vote in the House. In a House of 244, the BJP-led NDA can muster a maximum of 113.

Besides Congress, the parties that are opposed to the Bill in the present form are Trinamool Congress, RJD, DMK, AIADMK, CPI(M), CPI, Samajwadi Party, BSP and Muslim League among others.

The Opposition feels that the Bill was rushed through the Lok Sabha where BJP has a majority and that they would not allow "bulldozing" of legislations in the Upper House for political reasons. 

Interestingly, the Bill to replace an ordinance on triple talaq law has been listed despite a similar bill pending before the House. The government has not listed withdrawal of the existing bill and the Opposition are likely to raise this issue. 

The first bill was introduced in Rajya Sabha on January 3 after Lok Sabha passed it on December 29 last year. However, the Upper House could not pass the Bill as Opposition moved a motion to sent it to the Select Committee. 

In August too, the government attempted to pass it in Rajya Sabha by incorporating some amendments but it could not do it. The amendments were circulated in Rajya Sabha then. After failing to get the Rajya Sabha nod then, the govenrment brought an ordinance with these amendments in September and last week it brought a new Bill to replace the ordinance as per procedure.

AICC General Secretary K C Venugopal said in Kochi that the party would join hands with others to prevent the bill from getting passed in Rajya Sabha. Ten opposition parties had openly come out against the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2018 when it was introduced in the Lok Sabha, he said.

"The government could not push the bill in its initial form in the Upper House due to stringent opposition from the Congress and other opposition parties. That is the reason why the government brought the ordinance and re-introduced the bill in the Lok Sabha. But the Congress will oppose its passage in the present form in the Rajya Sabha," Venugopal said. 

"This is not an 800 square feet jewellery shop in Ahmedabad where two people come and decide which all jewellery articles should be on display. This is Parliament. If the government thinks they can bulldoze laws like the way they do in Lok Sabha, that is not going to work," Trinamool Congress Rajya Sabha leader Derek O'Brien said.

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Triple talaq bill in RS today; Cong to oppose it

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