August 3, 2017 6:16:51 am
Seminars on triple talaq will not be a part of the BJP’s programmes to mark its ideologue Deendayal Upadhyaya’s birth centenary. Instead, it will move to apprise Muslims of central government schemes for minorities. The BJP had asked its alpsankhyak morcha (minority wing) to organise the triple talaq seminars for two weeks starting from September 1. These were scheduled to preferably be organised in madrasas, where experts on women’s rights would address Muslim women on their legal rights and counsel them on empowerment. However, plans changed during BJP national chief Amit Shah’s visit to Lucknow last week.
UP state president of the BJP’s minority wing Haider Abbas ‘Chaand’, said, “The party will hold seminars at district level to make Muslims and other minority communities aware of schemes being run by the Narendra Modi government in the Centre for welfare and empowerment of minorities.”
The seminars would be organised from August 25 to September 20 in all districts and regional meetings for its preparations will begin from August 6, he added.
On why the party decided to drop the planned seminars on triple talaq, he said, “This was because there is no need to organise seminars on triple talaq now. It is expected that the Supreme Court judgment in the triple talaq case will favour the victims. BJP has fought the battle for the rights of Muslim women.”
In its manifesto for the UP Assembly polls, the BJP had promised to take up the triple talaq matter. After the win, BJP leaders had claimed Muslim women had backed them as the party was opposed to the practice. Now, Haider clarified that the UP election was held on the agenda of development and hence the party will speak on such issues only. “We have to change the anti-BJP perception that opposition parties have created among Muslims,” he said.
Asked what steps the Yogi Adityanath government took to meet its poll promise on triple talaq, Haider replied he was not aware about it.
After coming to power, BJP government planned to start collecting opinion of women on the issue. On April 11, the chief minister, in a meeting with women welfare department, had directed them to draw up a mechanism and asked the minister concerned and other women ministers of the government to meet women organisations and collect opinion of the Muslim women. However, citing absence of legal sanctity for it and lack of time, the exercise was discontinued.
The state government later announced to forward around 200 complaints from aggrieved women, who had allegedly been harassed by their husbands following triple talaq practice, to the Supreme Court, where the case was being heard.
An official in UP Women Welfare department said, “As the state government is not a party in the case, we had held meetings with Muslim women groups, received representations against triple talaq and submitted them to Government of India which is a party in the case.”
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