Opposition’s triple talaq resolution ready, Rajya Sabha showdown imminent
Trinamool Congress chief whip Derek O’Brien said “Floor leaders of all Opposition parties have already signed the resolution. In the 244-seat-strong Rajya Sabha we have an effective strength of 116 MPs. This time, the AIADMK is also supporting us.”india Updated: Dec 29, 2018 11:53 IST
Preparing the ground for a confrontation with the NDA government, a group of Opposition parties backed by the AIADMK, which has rarely opposed the NDA in Parliament, have signed a resolution seeking to send the Triple Talaq bill to a joint select committee. The resolution will be brought in the Rajya Sabha next week when the government brings the legislation for debate and passage in the Upper House.
The Triple Talaq bill was passed in the Lok Sabha on Thursday even as several Opposition parties walked out of the Lok Sabha because their demand to refer the legislation to a joint select committee was spurned by the government.
But in the Upper House, where NDA is in a minority, Opposition will have a different strategy.
It will use its numerical strength to try to send the bill to a joint select panel for review and thereby, apply brakes on the NDA’s hasty push for the legislation.
“Floor leaders of all Opposition parties have already signed the resolution. In the 244-seat-strong Rajya Sabha we have an effective strength of 116 MPs. This time, the AIADMK is also supporting us,” said Trinamool Congress chief whip Derek O’Brien.
The AIADMK’s refusal to support NDA on this bill was evident in the Lok Sabha, where the party spoke against the Triple Talaq legislation in its current form. During the debate in Lok Sabha, the southern party’s senior MP Anwhar Raajhaa alleged that the proposed act is against the provisions of Sharia law. If the AIADMK finally decides to go against the government and stick with its demand for a joint select committee’s review of the bill, it will be one of the rare occasions when it opposes a BJP government’s legislation.
A senior Congress member said that the transgender bill, too, should be sent to a select committee for proper parliamentary review. Earlier this week the Lok Sabha passed the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill that corrected the definition of transgender, but omitted the crucial right to self-identify one’s gender and reservations for the community.
O’Brien and this senior Congress leader maintained that they are not going by the “merit” of the individual bills but will oppose the two bills in the Upper House purely on the ground of parliamentary norms and process.
“How can the government go on passing bills without proper scrutiny of the parliamentary committees? Both bills must go to joint select committees,” said the Congress leader who asked not to be named. The government is striving to push as many bills as possible during this session—the penultimate session before the Lok Sabha polls.
As per house rules, when the law minister introduces the bill in the Upper House, the Opposition will move the resolution for the formation of the panel. The bill can’t be passed till the House decides on the resolution.
First Published: Dec 29, 2018 07:10 IST