Triple Talaq Bill: Congress undecided, BJP upbeat ahead of Rajya Sabha vote
Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi attacked the Congress for its "confused" stand and wanted to know why it was sad while the Muslim women were happy.
Amid the uncertainty over the ruling BJP tabling the contentious Triple Talaq Bill in the Rajya Sabha, the Congress remains undecided on its stand, forcing a senior Union minister to mock the party for being "confused".
The Congress today said it would consult a larger opposition before finalising its stand on the contentious Bill. Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi attacked the Congress for its "confused" stand and wanted to know why it was sad while the Muslim women were happy.
ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW IN 10 POINTS:
- "These days a number of reforms are being brought in. The Triple Talaq Bill is one of them," Naqvi, who is the Minority Affairs Minister, told reporters in New Delhi. "The Congress takes one step forward and then 10 steps backward. The party is confused on triple talaq," he said. "The Muslim women are happy, but I don't know why the Congress is sad."
- The Minister's remarks came just before the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017 was listed for consideration and passage in the Rajya Sabha, when the House meets after a three-day break. It was passed by the Lok Sabha on Thursday last week.
- The Narendra Modi government lacks a majority in the Upper House and is making all the efforts for the Bill's smooth passage by reaching out to the Opposition parties.
- According to sources in the Congress, Leader of Opposition in the Upper House Ghulam Nabi Azad has convened a meeting of the leaders of his party as well as other parties in his Parliament chamber today, before the Bill is scheduled to be taken up in Rajya Sabha.
- The sources added that while the Congress was in favour of the Bill as it proposed to ban instant triple talaq, whether it would press for sending it to the Select Committee, as has been the practice in the Rajya Sabha, would only be seen when it's taken up.
- The party might press for amendments in the bill, including a clause for maintenance to the Muslim women and making it mandatory for the man to prove that triple talaq had not been invoked, the sources said.
- In Lok Sabha last week, the Congress and some other parties had demanded that the Bill should be sent to the Standing Committee, but the government rejected their demand. The amendments to the bill moved by the opposition were also rejected.
- Senior Communist Party of India leader D Raja today said that the Left wants the Triple Talaq Bill to be referred to the Select Committee and accused the government of "bypassing the committees" on crucial bills.
- "As far as Left parties are concerned, we want this bill to be referred to the Select Committee. But the BJP-led NDA government is bypassing the committee system," Raja said. "They are saying don't send bills to the Standing Committee for closer scrutiny. When it comes to Rajya Sabha, we will demand that it should be sent to the Select Committee," he said.
- Meanwhile, Muslim women's rights group Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA), which was a petitioner in the Supreme Court against instant triple talaq, has written to the members of the Upper House, stating that the Bill should prescribe 'Talaq-e-Ahsan', that involves arbitration, as the method for divorce. The women's group has also sought that the offence of giving triple talaq be made a non-cognisable and bailable crime.