AICC general secretary KC Venugopal on Saturday said that the Congress party will not let the passage of the triple talaq bill in its present form in the Rajya Sabha, reports PTI. The Congress leader’s statement comes two days after the contentious bill criminalising instant divorce by Muslim men was passed by Lok Sabha after a heated debate on Thursday.
The bill will be moved by Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad in Rajya Sabha on Monday. It is expected to face heat in the upper house of the parliament on December 31, as a number of opposition parties had come out against the bill when it was introduced in the lower house on Thursday.
Speaking to reporters in Kochi, the AICC general secretary today said that the Congress would join hands with those parties with which it can ally with to defeat the bill in the present form. He said that 10 opposition parties had come out openly against the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2018 when it was introduced in the Lok Sabha.
Even the parties, including AIADMK which supports the government on various issues and the Trinamool Congress, have come out openly against the bill, said Venugopal who is also a Congress floor strategist.
Venugopal said stringent provisions like criminalisation of a civil wrong were there in the triple talaq bill and it was not at all acceptable for the opposition parties, including the Congress.
“…The bill will not help empower the women”, Venugopal said while claiming there was no confusion in the Congress-led UPA or party-led UDF in Kerala regarding the bill.
Recalling the passage of the bill in another form in the Lok Sabha in 2017, the Alappuzha MP said the then government could not push the bill in the Upper House due to the stringent opposition from the Congress and other opposition parties.
“That is the reason why the government brought the ordinance and re-introduced the bill again in the Lok Sabha. But the Congress will oppose its passage in the present form in the Rajya Sabha,” he said.
Earlier, the Congress had accused the NDA government of getting the triple talaq bill passed in haste in the Lok Sabha keeping in mind the 2019 general elections. The party has said its provisions were against the Constitution as well as fundamental rights.
The bill criminalising the practice of instant triple talaq was passed by the Lok Sabha on Thursday, with the government rejecting the contention that it was aimed at targeting a particular community.
The opposition, which had been demanding that the bill be referred to a ‘joint select committee’, staged a walkout when its demand was rejected by the government. The bill was passed by the Lower House with 245 voting in favour and 11 opposing the legislation.
It would now go to the Rajya Sabha for passage and if passed would become the law. Piloting the bill, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had said there should be no politics on the bill, stressing that it was not against any particular community.
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.
-With PTI inputs
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