Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad reportedly spoke to West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee seeking her party’s support for the bill on triple talaq, which is likely to be tabled in Parliament Friday. Sources said Mamata, however, said she could not “support the bill unconditionally” as neither she nor her party had been consulted before. The cabinet approved last week the proposal to introduce the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights of Marriage) Bill 2017 that will make instant triple talaq illegal.
“Mamata Banerjee told the minister that considering the opinion of the Trinamool Congress had not been sought, it is not possible for the party to offer unconditional support in the matter,” a source said. She said that without going through the draft, the content of the bill, it is not possible for the party to support the BJP.”
The Trinamool Congress is the fourth largest party in Lok Sabha.
The source added that the Bengal CM also stressed the fact that the issue is a sensitive one in Bengal. “With nearly a third of the state’s population being Muslim, the issue is a sensitive and emotive one. Mamata Banerjee asked the BJP minister to handle the situation sensitively.”
Since the Supreme Court order in August ruling triple talaq illegal, Mamata Banerjee has remained silent on the issue. Immediately after the order, she said, “I won’t say anything,” while Bengal Library Services Minister Siddiqullah Chowdhury criticised the Supreme Court. Since then the Opposition in Bengal had criticised Mamata, with the Left claiming that her silence was symptomatic of “her political opportunism”.