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Thursday, Aug 22, 2019

Nitish Kumar’s JDU walks out of Rajya Sabha, brightens Triple Talaq bill’s chances

Before walking out, JDU member Bashishtha Narain Singh said his party followed the ideology of leaders such as Mahatma Gandhi, Ram Manohar Lohia and Jayaprakash Narayan and strongly opposed the triple talaq bill.

india Updated: Jul 30, 2019 17:13 IST
Rahul Singh
Rahul Singh
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal United on Tuesday walked out of the Rajya Sabha during the debate on triple talaq bill.
Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal United on Tuesday walked out of the Rajya Sabha during the debate on triple talaq bill. (PTI File Photo )
         

Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal United on Tuesday walked out of the Rajya Sabha during the debate on the contentious triple talaq bill, a move that is expected to help the ruling BJP-led national coalition to get the legislation through the council of states.

The government’s renewed attempt to get the bill past the Rajya Sabha comes nearly 19 months after the Centre first introduced the The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill in Parliament. But the law was stuck in the Rajya Sabha where the National Democratic Alliance did not have a majority.

The NDA is still short of a clear majority. But its success in passing through another controversial legislation to amend the right to information law last week was the proof of concept of a strategy to get legislations passed with cooperation of friendly parties, which either back the proposed laws or abstain.

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It is a template that would be put to test again on Tuesday evening when lawmakers vote.

It would help that six MPs of the Janata Dal United, which had earlier declared that it was opposed to the law, would abstain.

Before walking out, JDU member Bashishtha Narain Singh said his party followed the ideology of leaders such as Mahatma Gandhi, Ram Manohar Lohia and Jayaprakash Narayan and strongly opposed the Bill. “Hum iss ka bahishkar karte hain (We boycott this bill),” he said.

That would bring down the strength of the House, and the majority mark. BJP leaders also expected from Naveen Patnaik’s Biju Janata Dal and K Chandrashekhar Rao’s Telangana Rashtra Samithi.

Vijay Sai Reddy of the YSR Congress, which had supported the RTI amendment, however, told ANI that his party “will oppose triple talaq bill and vote against it”.

Singh was the second speaker of the day after Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad initiated the discussion on the bill, stressing that the members should not look at it from the prism of politics and vote bank.

“This is a question of justice for women and their empowerment… This is a matter of gender justice, dignity and equality,” the minister said tabling the bill that has been already cleared by the Lok Sabha.

Congress lawmaker Amee Yajnik said she supported the bill but not the criminalization angle in it. She said the disputes should not be referred to a magistrate’s court but a family court in the interest of a woman’s dignity.

Minister for minority affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi called it a historic day and enumerated various schemes and measures implemented by the government to empower women.

First Published: Jul 30, 2019 17:13 IST

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