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Back Govt on Triple Talaq, Nikah Halala in Exchange for Women's Quota Bill: Govt's Deal for Rahul Gandhi

Referring to Rahul Gandhi’s letter as “the new deal”, Ravi Shankar Prasad has written in his letter that as national parties, BJP and Congress cannot have two sets of standards in dealing with women and their rights.

Updated:July 17, 2018, 8:31 PM IST
Back Govt on Triple Talaq, Nikah Halala in Exchange for Women's Quota Bill: Govt's Deal for Rahul Gandhi
Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad addresses the press in New Delhi. (File photo: PTI)
New Delhi: Day after Congress chief Rahul Gandhi offered his unconditional support to the Women’s Reservation Bill, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Tuesday wrote back to him, asking for his support towards the triple talaq bill and prohibition of nikah halala.

“As part of the ‘new deal’, we should approve, in both Houses of Parliamentm the Women’s Reservation Bill, the law prohibiting Triple Talaq and imposing penal consequence on those who violate the law, and prohibiting Nikah Halala,” wrote Prasad, in his letter addressed to Rahul Gandhi.

Referring to Gandhi’s letter on Monday as “the new deal”, Prasad has written in his letter, “As national parties, we cannot have two sets of standards in dealing with women and their rights.”

Attempting to set the agenda for the upcoming Monsoon Session of Parliament, Gandhi had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying Women’s Reservation Bill be taken up by the Congress on a priority for passage.

“What better way to demonstrate your commitment to the cause of women, than by offering support to the Women’s Reservation Bill,” Gandhi wrote to PM.

Gandhi’s comment came two days after PM Modi accused Congress of being a party of Muslim men and not standing with the Muslim women on the issue of triple talaq.

The Congress chief had said in his letter that time has come for women to take their rightful places in the legislature and the Parliament.

Prasad has now written back, "We are already too late in conferring the right of adequate representation, equality in personal laws and doing away with such provisions which compromise with women's dignity."

The Women's Reservation Bill was first introduced by the UPA government in 2008 while BJP had extended its support to the bill.

"The Bill was originally proposed by the NDA Government headed by Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee but could not be passed for want of consensus in Parliament. During the UPA Government it was reintroduced during UPA-II in the Rajya Sabha. Despite disturbances, the BJP and NDA stood in firm support of the Bill and had it passed in the Rajya Sabha. For reasons best known to the government of that day, no effort was made to have the bill passed in the Lok Sabha," Prasad has written in his letter.

Congress has, however, termed Prasad’s letter as a “gimmick”.

Party leader, Sushmita Dev said, “I have been shown an unsigned letter apparently written by the law minister and if anyone had even 1% doubt that the PM doesn’t want to legislate for women’s empowerment, this is a proof. Sad to see that the law minister cut a deal on this. The manifesto had no mention of triple talaq and nikah halala whereas it did mention the women’s bill.”

In the Winter Session of the Parliament, Congress had stalled the triple talaq bill in the Rajya Sabha, demanding that bill goes to a "select committee". The party had cautiously avoided derailing the crucial bill while also not allowing it to be cleared at one go.
| Edited by: Sanchari Chatterjee
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