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Friday, Aug 23, 2019

Seemanchal leaders unhappy with JD(U)’s Rajya Sabha walkout on triple talaq bill

Some Muslim MLAs of JD(U) in Seemanchal are reported to be in a fix over their party’s tacit support to the passage of the triple talaq bill in Rajya Sabha.

patna Updated: Aug 01, 2019 14:48 IST
Aditya Nath Jha
Aditya Nath Jha
Hindustan Times, Purnia
Union law ministerRavi Shankar Prasad speaks in Rajya Sabha during debate on triple talaq bill.
Union law ministerRavi Shankar Prasad speaks in Rajya Sabha during debate on triple talaq bill. (ANI )
         

Muslims in Bihar’s Seemanchal region are stuck between favour and disfavour, when it comes to contentious triple talaq bill, which has now been cleared by both Houses of the Parliament.. The Bill has declares triple talaq as a criminal offence, punishable by a jail term of up to three years. In 2017, the Supreme Court had struck down instant triple talaq, calling the practice unconstitutional and in violation of Article 14 of the Indian Constitution. 

Leaders, who till now preferred to be silent over the Bill, have become more critical of Nitish Kumar and JD(U), which walked out during voting in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday, despite maintaining that the party was not in favour of the Bill.

“The stage was all set and now Janata Dal (United) has been exposed. The party’s walkout from the Rajya Sabha brought its hidden RSS face to the surface,” a JD(U) leader said on condition of anonymity.

Another senior Muslim leader of the party said, “The law may help either side. This may help unify divided houses of opposition parties or the ruling parties may reap the benefit of divided Muslim families.” He declared the Bill as Modi’s masterstroke and admitted that this might help the party in coming days.

Congress, which opposed the passage of Bill in both the Houses of the Parliament, is hopeful of winning back the support of minorities in Seemanchal, where Muslims are in substantial number in almost all four parliamentary and 24 assembly constituencies. Out of the four parliamentary constituencies in Seemanchal, Kishanganj was the sole Lok Sabha seat from where Congress candidate Mohammad Jawed won in the recent parliamentary elections. Besides one MP, there are 10 Muslim MLAs in Seemanchal.  

“We have been taking the same stand right from the beginning and we wanted it to go to a select committee for discussion, which was rejected,” said BK Thakur, spokesperson of Congress in Bihar. “JD(U) in general and Nitish Kumar in particular have been exposed in public.The Bill was passed not through consensus, but through political manoeuvring.”

Even Muslim MLAs of JD(U) in Seemanchal are reported to be in a fix over their party’s tacit support to the passage of the Bill in Rajya Sabha. “The way our party has behaved, it has become really difficult for us to face the people who voted for us in elections,” a senior Muslim leader of JD(U) in Kishanganj said. The JD(U) has two Muslim MLAs in Kishanganj.

“We feel cheated with the party’s decision to walkout from the Rajya Sabha. Both MLAs are under tremendous pressure,” he said. He admitted that Muslim support to JD(U) in the upcoming assembly elections would be badly affected. Kochadhaman and Thakurganj assembly seats in Kishanganj had gone in favour of JD(U) in the last 2015 assembly elections and the JD(U)’s Mujahid Alam and Naushad Alasm had won the seat.  

Purnia JD(U) leader Javed Akram also opposed the Bill declaring it against the interest of Muslim families. “This will increase chaos and poverty in Muslim families” he said. He however remained tight-lipped over his party’s tacit support to the Bill in the Rajya Sabha.

RJD leader Kamal Kishor Yadav saw an opportunity for all secular parties and leaders in the Bill. “It is high time we united forgetting past differences.This Bill will prove for us to be a blessing in disguise in the future, when the bad repercussions will start stumbling down in society.”

First Published: Aug 01, 2019 14:48 IST

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