The contentious triple talaq bill seeking to criminalise instant divorce is set to be tabled in the Rajya Sabha even as the Congress said it will not allow the passage of the proposed legislation in its present form.
Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad will table the bill in the Upper House after it was cleared by the Lok Sabha on Thursday amid a walkout by the Opposition. The bill was passed by the Lower House with 245 voting in favour and 11 opposing it.
Congress MP and AICC general secretary K C Venugopal on Saturday said the party would not allow the passage of the triple talaq Bill in its present form in the Rajya Sabha. The party would join hands with those parties which it can ally with to defeat the Bill in its present form, he told reporters here.
Govt claimed that the bill will find support in Rajya Sabha, where the BJP-led NDA lacks numbershttps://t.co/8lmGs6jROu
— Business Standard (@bsindia) December 30, 2018
He said 10 opposition parties had openly come out against the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2018 when it was introduced in the Lok Sabha.
Even the parties which support the government on various issues, including AIADMK, have opposed the bill, said Venugopal, who is also a Congress floor strategist.
The Alappuzha MP said there is no confusion either in the UPA or UDF (the Congress-led coalition in Kerala) over the Bill. “The Opposition parties are against the passing of the Bill in its present form. When the Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha, the 10 Opposition parties had objected to it and wanted that the Bill be left to the perusal of the standing committee. But the government did not heed the Opposition’s demand. Even AIADMK, which had supported the NDA on several issues, and TMC, have come out against the Bill,” he said.
“The criminal provision in the Bill that has envisaged three-year jail term for the husband would not lead to women empowerment. Instead, such a provision would only weaken the women,’’ he said.
“That is the reason why the government brought the ordinance and re-introduced the bill in the Lok Sabha. But the Congress will oppose its passage in the present form in the Rajya Sabha,” Venugopal said.
Meanwhile, several Muslim organisations in Kerala have criticised Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) MP P K Kunhalikutty over his absence in the Lok Sabha on the day the triple talaq Bill was passed. IUML is a Congress ally.
Kunhalikutty said the controversy over his absence was unfortunate. “I have given an explanation to the party over the incident. It is not true that I kept away from voting to attend a marriage. There was a crucial meeting regarding the party newspaper Chandrika,” he told the media.
Describing the passage of the triple talaq bill as a historic step to ensure equality and dignity of Muslim women, BJP chief Amit Shah had demanded an apology from the Congress for decades of injustice.