The opposition parties had decided to corner the government over the bill in the Rajya Sabha, with the Congress, Samajwadi Party (SP) and TRS planning to stage a walkout in protest. The parties, which met in the morning to chalk out a strategy for the House, had demanded that the bill be referred to a select committee for review before it is passed.
Rajya Sabha Adjourned Again | Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Harivansh has adjourned the House again for 15 minutes due to protest by AIADMK MPs. Earlier also, the speaker made a fervent appeal to AIADMK members to return to their seats so that zero hour mention could be taken up, but the same went unheeded. Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said the Congress and other opposition parties want to hold discussions.
There's setback for BJP as Nitish Kumar's JDU stands its stand on Triple Talaq Bill. Union Minister Vijay Goel says that Opposition is just playing politics over the issue, even as protests by AIADMK continue. As per the listed business of Monday, the Rajya Sabha is scheduled to take up the triple talaq bill, which was passed by the Lok Sabha last week.
The Rajya Sabha was adjourned till 2 pm as AIADMK members disrupted proceedings over the Cauvery River water issue. As soon as papers were laid, AIADMK members trooped into the well of House raising the Cauvery issue and shouting slogans "We want Justice". Some DMK members too were on their feet. Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Harivansh made a fervent appeal to AIADMK members to return to their seats so that zero hour mention could be taken up, but the same went unheeded. Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said the Congress and other opposition parties want to hold discussions.
Dravia Munnetra Kazhagam leader and Rajya Sabha MP, Kanimozhi said her party had been consistent in its position against "criminalisation" of triple talaq. "We are opposing jail punishment for pronouncing talaq. Even the Islamic tenets does not allow instant triple talaq," she said, adding that if violation of such tenets were to happen, it should not be made a criminal offence as it was a civil issue. "We will vote against the bill in the Rajya Sabha and it is the stand of the DMK that it (bill) be referred to a Select Committee," she told reporters. After the Supreme Court held instant triple talaq as unconstitutional last year, an ordinance was promulgated by the Centre prohibiting the practice. The Lok Sabha adopted the bill on December 27 after a heated debate.
The ruling AIADMK and the opposition DMK in Tamil Nadu will oppose the contentious triple talaq bill in the Rajya Sabha on Monday, days after it was adopted by the Lok Sabha, the parties said Sunday. The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2018 seeking to criminalise the practice of instant divorce among Muslims is set to be tabled in the upper house of Parliament even as opposition parties including the Congress have said that they will not allow its passage in the present form. "We oppose triple talaq bill," senior All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) leader and Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker M Thambidurai said. The AIADMK strongman from the western belt of the state said it was the stand of his party that the government should not "interfere" in religious matters.
TMC MP Derek O'Brien slams AIADMK over ruckus in the house, calls it BJP's ally in Tamil Nadu. "First 11 days of Winter Session, Rajya Sabha has worked for an average of 16 mins daily. As soon as MPs of BJP’s “friendly TamilN ally” have gone into Well at 11.10 am,House was adjourned straight thru till the next day. NOT till 2 pm the same day (sic)," he said.
First 11 days of Winter Session, Rajya Sabha has worked for an average of 16 mins daily. As soon as MPs of BJP’s “friendly TamilN ally” have gone into Well at 11.10 am,House was adjourned straight thru till the next day. NOT till 2 pm the same day. Keep this in mind #Parliament— Derek O'Brien | ডেরেক ও’ব্রায়েন (@derekobrienmp) December 31, 2018
In the Lok Sabha, the opposition had demanded that the bill be referred to a 'Joint Select Committee' of Parliament for further scrutiny. On Thursday, the government rejected the opposition's contention that it was aimed at targeting a particular community. Piloting the bill, Prasad had said there should be no politics on the proposed legislation, stressing it was not against any particular community. Describing the passage of the triple talaq bill in the Lok Sabha as a historic step towards ensuring equality and dignity of Muslim women, BJP chief Amit Shah had demanded an apology from the Congress for "decades of injustice". The fresh bill to make the practice of triple talaq among Muslims a penal offence was introduced in Lok Sabha on December 17 to replace an ordinance issued in September.
Congress leader T Subbarami Reddy has moved a statutory resolution that "this House disapproves the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Ordinance, 2018 (No.7 of 2018) promulgated by the President of India on September 19, 2018". Union Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Vijay Goel also sought the support of all parties for the passage of the triple talaq bill a day before it is taken up in the Rajya Sabha. "It is high time we ensure justice for our Muslim sisters. They have gone through so much pain because of this inhuman practice of triple talaq," Goel said. The bill seeks to protect the rights of married Muslim women and to prohibit divorce by their husbands by pronouncing talaq. It also seeks to provide for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto. The opposition has questioned the stringent provisions like criminalisation of a civil wrong in the triple talaq bill.
Sources said the numbers are stacked slightly in favour of the opposition in the Upper House, with the UPA having 112 members and the NDA 93. One seat is vacant. The remaining 39 members of other parties are unattached to either NDA or UPA and are likely to play an important role in the passage of the contentious legislation. Though the NDA is way short of the half-way mark of 123 in the 245-member House, it had emerged victorious in the election of the Rajya Sabha deputy chairman, with its nominee Harivansh of the Janata Dal (United) bagging 125 votes against 101 polled by the opposition-backed Congress member B K Hariprasad.
Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu is unlikely to be present today due to the demise of his mother-in-law and Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha Harivansh is likely to conduct the proceedings instead. The Congress has said it will not allow the passage of the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2018, in its present form and it along with other parties are keen that the proposed legislation be sent to a select committee for further scrutiny. Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad will table the bill in the Upper House. It has already been passed by the Lok Sabha, with 245 voting in favour and 11 opposing it, Thursday amid a walkout by the opposition parties. It is listed in the Rajya Sabha's legislative agenda for Monday.
The Congress had convened a meeting of its MPs and a number of opposition parties met this morning in the chamber of Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad to evolve their strategy in the house on the issue. The contentious triple talaq bill is likely to face stiff resistance from opposition parties, who are united in their demand for sending it to the select committee for further scrutiny. "Opposition parties will meet Monday morning and evolve their strategy. But, we all are determined to send the bill to the select committee as the same cannot be passed in its present form. The opposition parties are united in this stand on the issue," a senior opposition leader said.
The contentious triple talaq bill that seeks to criminalise the practice of instant divorce among Muslims is set to be taken up in the Rajya Sabha shortly, with the Congress and other opposition parties gearing up to send it to a select committee. The Congress and the BJP have issued whips to their members to be present in the House Monday and other parties have also asked their MPs to be present in full strength when the bill is taken up.
Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad in Rajya Sabha on Monday. (Twitter/ANI)
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress had issued whips to their MPs to be present in Parliament today. Having a minority in the Upper House, the BJP is likely to face difficulties in getting the bill passed. The Congress has already made it clear that it will not allow the passage of the proposed bill in its current form.
Earlier in the day, the TDP also issued a whip to its MPs, asking them to be present in the House. "I appeal to them (TDP RS MPs)to obstruct the harassment of Muslims. All opposition parties should fight unitedly against the anti-Muslim attitude of BJP. The govt forcibly imposing triple talaq is a danger for secularism and national integrity," party chief and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu said.
Union law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, who is piloting the bill, had said there should be no politics on the issue and had stressed that it was not against any particular community.
A whip had been issued by the BJP on Wednesday as well, directing its MPs to be present in Lok Sabha on Thursday, when the bill was tabled in the Lower House. The bill was passed in the Lok Sabha with 245 voting in favour and 11 opposing it amid a walkout by the opposition parties.
The Congress, AIADMK, and Sharad Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party have vehemently opposed the bill in the Lower House. In addition, Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress (TMC) and Naveen Patnaik's Biju Janata Dal (BJD) are of the opinion that the bill brings a criminal angle to a legislation on civil matters.
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