Govt, opposition face-off likely as Budget session begins today
The Triple Talaq Bill passed in the Lok Sabha in the Winter Session will be in focus in the Rajya Sabha, where the government is likely to face a stiff challenge from the Opposition.Updated: Jan 29, 2018 10:20 IST
The government is likely to face opposition in Parliament as it will try hard to push through several bills, including the contentious triple talaq or instant divorce bill that is stuck in the Rajya Sabha, during the crucial Budget session that starts on Monday.
The Lok Sabha passed the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill on December 28 that criminalises instant triple talaq and stipulates up to three years in jail and a penalty for violators. It also aims to provide alimony for the woman on whom instant triple talaq has been pronounced and grant her the custody of her children.
But consensus eluded the two sides when the bill was taken up in the Upper House, where the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance lacks a majority, for passage at the fag-end of the winter session earlier this month.
Opposition members insisted that the proposed law should be referred to a select committee for wider deliberations on all the sticking points.
The government on Sunday evening said it will do “everything possible” to ensure the passage of triple talaq bill in the Budget session.
“We will leave no stone unturned in talking to and convincing all the political parties to ensure that the triple talaq bill is passed in the Rajya Sabha. The way they have passed GST unanimously, we request them to pass this too unanimously,” parliamentary affairs minister Ananth Kumar said.
Kumar said the bill is now the property of the House when asked on Sunday whether the bill would be referred to a committee.
“Let the House decide,” he said.
Opposition leaders said shortly after an all-party meeting on the eve of the session on Sunday that they would counter the government on issues such as spike in incidents of rape and other atrocities on women, alleged attacks on the Constitution and constitutional institutions and the plight of traders, besides the recent incident of communal violence in Uttar Pradesh.
“We want to raise these issues as they are important. The government should adopt a cooperative attitude and allow the opposition to raise these issues,” Congress leader Pramod Tiwari said.
Sunday’s meeting was attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union ministers Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley and Ananth Kumar, besides leaders of the opposition and other parties.
The leaders of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) will lead a traders’ protest to Parliament House against the sealing drive in Delhi on Monday. The Congress has raised the issue of a recent spate of rapes in Haryana and plans to raise it in Parliament.
On Friday, Nationalist Congress Party leader Sharad Pawar led a “save the Constitution” rally in Mumbai to mark Republic Day which brought together several opposition leaders.
The Budget session will open with President Ram Nath Kovind’s address to a joint sitting of both the Houses of Parliament on Monday. This will be Kovind’s first Budget session address since he took over.
After Kovind’s address, finance minister Arun Jaitley will table the Economic Survey. On February 1, Jaitley will present the BJP-led NDA government’s last full-fledged Budget before the 2019 general elections and the first one in the post goods and services tax regime.
The first part of the session will end on February 9 and resume on March 5 to continue till April 6.