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Tuesday, Aug 20, 2019

Triple talaq bill in Rajya Sabha today; BJP, Cong issue whip to MPs

The Triple Talaq bill will be taken up for consideration and passage on Tuesday, but so far, key Opposition parties have not met to figure out how to thwart the NDA.

india Updated: Jul 30, 2019 11:05 IST
Saubhadra Chatterji and Smriti Kak Ramachandran
Saubhadra Chatterji and Smriti Kak Ramachandran
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Triple talaq bill will be taken up in Rajya Sabha.
Triple talaq bill will be taken up in Rajya Sabha.(PTI Photo)
         

A nervous Opposition is staring at the possibility of the National Democratic Alliance managing to clear the contentious Triple Talaq bill in the Rajya Sabha , after it failed to send the amendments to the Right to Information Act to a Select Committee last week.

Most Opposition parties have taken a public position against 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 when push comes to shove 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 Triple Talaq bill will be taken up for consideration and passage today, but so far, key Opposition parties have not met to figure out how to thwart the NDA. The ruling BJP and the Congress have issued whips to their MPs, asking them to ensure their presence in the House.

“As far as my party is concerned, we will seek a parliamentary review. I can’t talk about others,” said Trinamool Congress leader Derek O’Brien. Opposition leaders said Congress and the Left parties are also fully committed to opposing the bill which makes instant Triple Talaq or Talaq-e-biddat illegal and entails jail and a fine for offending husbands.

However, 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.

Opposition leaders admitted that they were in disarray during the RTI voting with many MPs from parties such as Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, Nationalist Congress Party and Samajwadi Party missing in action.

Meanwhile, the BJP managed to convince the Telangana Rashtriya Samiti, Biju Janata Dal and YRSCP to help.

That won’t be possible for a bill as contentious as the Triple Talaq one, some Opposition leaders said. “But we are not sure how many of our own MPs will turn up to oppose the bill,” said a senior leader of a non-Congress opposition party.

“We expect the BJD to support us. But YSRCP, TRS and our own ally JD(U) might walk out. As long as they don’t vote with the Opposition, we are fine,” said a senior BJP floor manager .

The BJP also asked senior leaders to call the Opposition for support.s

First Published: Jul 30, 2019 07:32 IST

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