Oppn reaches out to BJP allies to stall triple talaq bill in Rajya Sabha
The Opposition on Tuesday reached out to the ruling BJP’s allies to back its demand for sending to a House panel the bill that criminalises instant triple talaq, a day before the legislation is expected to be tabled in the Rajya Sabha.
Senior opposition leaders also said plans were afoot to disrupt the proceedings to prevent the government from introducing the bill in the Upper House, where the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance is in a minority. “We can adopt any democratic tactics to stop the bill,” Trinamool Congress’ Derek O’Brien said.
During the day, he and Congress’ Ghulam Nabi Azad got in touch with BJP allies like Telugu Desam Party (TDP), Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and some smaller parties, sources said.
The Lok Sabha, where the NDA has a brute majority, passed the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill that proposes up to three years in jail and a penalty for violators.
“When it comes to the Rajya Sabha, we will demand that it (the bill) should be sent to the select committee,” D Raja of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) said, accusing the government of “bypassing the committees”.
The BJP, too, has its plan ready to attack the Opposition, which says the proposed law aims to criminalise a civil contract.
In a meeting with Rajya Sabha chairperson Venkaiah Naidu, the Congress, AIADMK, DMK, CPI, CPI(M) and BJD said the bill should be referred to a select committee for detailed discussion.
The opposition reiterated the demand at a business advisory committee meeting in the evening. No assurance was forthcoming from the government, opposition leaders said. The matter would be taken up again when the leaders meet before the proceedings begin Wednesday.
They were not opposed to a legislation empowering the women but wanted the bill to be discussed in detail, Congress leaders said.
The Opposition must reconsider moving amendments or referring the bill to the select committee, the government said.
The government would like the Congress to stick to the stand it took in the Lok Sabha by not pressing for amendments, parliamentary affairs minister Ananth Kumar said.
The Supreme Court had already struck down the practice of triple talaq in August 2017.