JD(U) walks out of Triple Talaq debate, tilting RS numbers in govt’s favour
NDA ally Janata Dal (United) staged a walkout in Rajya Sabha on Tuesday during a discussion on the contentious Triple Talaq bill, which criminalises instant divorce by Muslim men.
The walkout is expected to bring down the majority mark, making it easier for the government to push through the bill in the Rajya Sabha
Before walking out, JD (U) member Bashishtha Narain Singh said that his party followed the ideology of leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Ram Manohar Lohia and Jayaprakash Narayan and it opposed the Bill. “Hum iss ka bahishkar karte hain,” he said.
Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad earlier introduced the contentious Triple Talaq bill, which criminalises instant divorce by Muslim men, for consideration and passage by Rajya Sabha saying it was a matter of ‘equality’.
“This is a matter of gender justice, dignity and equality,” the law minister said while tabling the bill that has been already cleared by the Lok Sabha by a voice vote amidst a walkout by the Opposition parties. The ruling BJP, the Opposition Congress and the Trinamool Congress earlier issued whips to their members to be present in the House today.
Follow live updates here
The bill was passed by the 16th Lok Sabha but could not pass the Rajya Sabha hurdle then.
The bill, which seeks jail term for the guilty, was the first draft legislation tabled by the Narendra Modi government in this first session after it took oath of office for a second term in May.
Several opposition parties have bitterly opposed it but the government has asserted that the bill is a step towards gender equality and justice. Parties like the Congress, the Trinamool Congress and the DMK have demanded that it be sent to a parliamentary committee for scrutiny.
While BJP allies such as JD(U) has expressed reservations about the bill
Most Opposition parties have opposed the bill but the events that unfolded during the passage of the RTI amendment bill have made senior leaders unsure about the actual strength of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha. The RTI bill was the first example of NDA’s superior floor management skills as it steered the bill through the upper house where it is in minority.
The Opposition seems to have lost its momentum following the NDA’s success in passing the RTI bill and also defeating the Opposition in a vote on whether the legislation requires to be referred to a select committee of the House.