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Parliament highlights: Rajya Sabha adjourned for the day over triple talaq bill as Congress remains adamant

Parliament LIVE UPDATES: Congress' Anand Sharma moves notice stating that Triple Talaq Bill be referred to a Select Committee of Rajya Sabha. He also proposes names of the committee members

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: January 4, 2018 9:06:43 am
Parliament Session, Bhima Koregaon, Triple Talaq Bill, Maharashtra Violence, Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, Bhima Koregaon protests, Indian Express Triple Talaq Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha through a voice vote on Thursday. (Express File photo/Ravi Kanojia)

There was a fierce slugfest in the Rajya Sabha between the BJP and the Congress as soon as Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad tabled the Triple Talaq Bill, forcing Deputy chairman PJ Kurien to adjourn the House for the day.

As soon as the Rajya Sabha convened after three adjournments at 3pm, the triple talaq bill, which was passed by the Lok Sabha last week, was tabled in the House. “Even after passage of the Triple Talaq Bill in Lok Sabha, the practice is continuing. A woman in Moradabad was given Triple Talaq over dowry,” Prasad said.

However, Congress leader Anand Sharma demanded that the bill be sent to a Parliamentary Select Committee and also proposed names of the panel members. To this, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley accused the Congress of double speak, saying they had supported the bill in the Lok Sabha. “The whole country is watching that in the other House you supported the Bill and in this house you are trying to derail it,” he said.

Parliament Session highlights

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5.45 pm: Speaking to reporters outside the Parliament, Arun Jaitley said the Congress support in the Lok Sabha on the triple talaq bill was a sham. ” It is clear that the Congress Party is opposing the triple talaq bill. The support they extended in Lok Sabha was a sham. Today was a golden moment for the House to end the injustice, but because of Congress it could not happen,” Jaitley said.

4.45 pm: TMC leader in the Rajya Sabha, Derek O’ Brien said the bill was a faulty one. “We are all for this bill, it is a faulty bill. No womens’ groups, stakeholders were consulted. All we ask for is that talk to all stakeholders,” he said.

Members list Name of 17 Rajya Sabha MPs proposed by Anand Sharma to be members of the Select Committee. (Source: ANI)

4.20 pm: “Even yesterday, triple talaq happened in UP. Congress, which supported the bill in Lok Sabha, took a completely divergent view in Rajya Sabha. They supported it in LS in compulsion since they were less in numbers. Let the country know Congress’ hypocrisy and double standard,” says Ravi Shankar Prasad outside the Parliament.

3.52 pm: Rajya Sabha adjourned again amid opposition protests over the Triple Talaq Bill and Bhima Koregaon violence.

3.50 pm: Senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal countered Jaitley by saying, “He (Arun Jaitley) referred to the judgment of SC. I want to correct the record because I appeared in the case on behalf of Muslim Personal Law Board. What he said was in context of the minority judgement.”

3.46 pm: Saying that the legislature must act with a sense of responsibility, Jaitley asserted,”During the SC verdict, judges said that ‘we are now suspending it for 6 months and we beseech all parties, therefore within this period come out with apt legislation’. So, there is an urgency that country expects from the Parliament.”

3.45 pm: Accusing the Congress of double speak, Jaitley said, “The whole country is watching that in the other House you supported the Bill and in this house you are trying to derail it.” “The reason why it should not be referred (to Select Committee) is that when the practice was declared unconstitutional, two of the judges held it as unfair and used their extraordinary power to suspend it for 6 months, which expire on 22 February,” the Finance Minister said.

3.40 pm: “The House is taken by surprise that a motion is suddenly moved, it has not been submitted a day before. The motion has to be given at least 24 hours in advance,” says Arun Jaitley on Anand Sharma’s notice on Triple Talaq Bill.

3.35 pm: Speaking on the Bhima Koregaon violence, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the politicians should also take notice of the hatred that is being spread through hate speeches in Maharashtra. “Jo organised tareeke se Maharashtra ke andar hinsa karai jaa rahi hai aur jis prakar ke bhashan diye gaye hain, ek baar uss taraf bhi neta-pratipaksh thoda dhyan dein,” Jaitley said.

3.27 pm: Congress’ Anand Sharma moves notice stating that Triple Talaq Bill be referred to a Select Committee of Rajya Sabha. He also proposes names of the committee members.

3.25 pm: Even after passage of the Triple Talaq Bill in Lok Sabha, the practice is continuing. A woman in Moradabad was given Triple Talaq over dowry, Prasad says in Rajya Sabha.

3.22 pm: Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad tables Triple Talaq Bill as opposition MPs protest

3.20 pm: Retorting to Prasad’s allegation, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad termed the government as “anti-Dalit”. “We condemn the statement by the law minister that we are raising the Bhima Koregaon violence issue to stall the Triple Talaq Bill. We have been raising the issue of Dalit atrocities as this govt is anti-Dalit,” Azad said.

3.15 pm: Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad slammed the Congress in the Rajya Sabha, saying the Bhima Koregaon violence was being deliberately raised to stall the passage of the Triple Talaq Bill. “This issue is being raised deliberately so that Triple Talaq Bill can be stalled,” Prasad said.

2.30 pm: Rajya Sabha, which commenced at 2 pm, has again been adjourned till 3 pm following an uproar over the Maharashtra caste violence.  Several opposition members began protesting and raising slogans, calling the government “anti-dalit” and forcing Deputy Rajya Sabha chairman PJ Kurien to adjourn the House till 3 PM.

1.50 pm: “Atrocities are being inflicted on Dalits  for the last three and a half years, since BJP came to power in the centre,” Ghulam Nabi Azad was quoted as saying by ANI.

1.35 pm: Treasury Bench members oppose Banerjee’s statements. Lok Sabha adjourned till Thursday. To reconvene at 11 am.

1.30 pm: “Why are the Gujarat OBCs fighting against you? You haven’t accommodated the OBCs in Gujarat itself,” Banerjee said. Express Explained | What’s involved in courting the OBCs, one quota at a time

1.25 pm: TMC MP Kalyan Banerjee says the Modi government should not take the credit for passing of the Bill as the original amendment was to grant constitutional status to OBC Commission . “Tall claims are being made. Par aaplogon ne nahi socha tha, hamne socha tha,” he said. “Sachhar Commission pointed out the this. The country should know the truth,” he added.

1.20 pm: Satna MP Ganesh Singh rises to voice his support for the Bill.

1.08 pm: Consideration of Rajya Sabha Amendment — The Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-Third Amendment) Bill, 2017 underway. The Bill seeks to grant the National Commission on Backward Classes (NCBC) constitutional status, at par with the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) and the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes. The Bill, earlier passed by the Lok Sabha, has been re-introduced in the lower house after it was significantly amended in the Rajya Sabha.

In the last session, there was a deadlock in the Rajya Sabha over the Bill as the Opposition managed to vote in significant amendments to reserve seats for women and minority members in the new Commission. However, the amendment was dropped by the government and the rest of the Bill was passed without this.

12.40 pm: Lok Sabha adjourned till 12.45 PM after uproar over the issue of Maharashtra caste violence.

12.36 pm: The government attacked the Congress for politicising the issue. “Congress divide and rule ki policy use kar rahe hain. Aur Sabka saath sabka vikaas karke Narendra Modi ji desh ko saath le rahe hain. Aag ko bujhaane ke bajaaye, bhadkaane ka kaam Mallikarjun Kharge, Rahul Gandhi aur Congress party kar rahi hai. Ise desh bardasht nahin karega (Congress is using the divide and rule policy whereas PM Modi is taking the country forward with sabka saath sabka vikaas. Instead of dousing the flames of violence, Mallikarjun Kharge, Rahul Gandhi and Congress is stoking it. The country will not tolerate it),” Ananth Kumar, Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister, said.

12.30 pm: Attacking Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress leader Kharge said he should speak up on such issues, “Supreme Court judge should be appointed for inquiry in Bhima Koregaon violence. PM should also give a statement, he can’t stay mum! He is a mauni baba (mute spectator) on such issues!”

12.20 pm: Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge raises the issue of Bhima Koregaon violence in Lok Sabha. “Who instigated and interfered in this event? Samaaj mein division karne ke liye, kattar Hindutvavaadi, jo wahan RSS ke log hain…iske peecha unka haath hai. Unhone ye kaam karwaya hai (Those who want to divide the society, Hindutva fundamentalists, RSS members, they are behind this. They have caused this)

12.00 pm: Rajya Sabha reconvenes. Chaos ensues. House adjourned till 2 pm.

PM Narendra Modi outside the Parliament on Wednesday. (Express Photo/Praveen Jain)

11.50 am: As soon as the papers were laid during Zero Hour, Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu asked Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad to speak. In the meanwhile, Satish Chandra Mishra of BSP was on his feet and raising the Maharashtra violence issue. Several other opposition members and those from the treasury benches too joined him. As many members tried to speak on the issue simultaneously, Naidu adjourned the House till noon.

11.22 am: Rajya Sabha adjourned till noon as several members sought to raise Bhima Koregaon violence issue.

11.10 am: “In today’s parliamentary party meeting, we discussed two important bills. First, the Constitution 123rd Amendment Bill which will give constitutional status to OBC Commission and second, the bill to end triple talaq and protect the rights of Muslim women,” Union Minister Ananth Kumar was quoted as saying by ANI.

Amit Shah outside Parliament on Wednesday. (Express Photo/Praveen Jain)

10.40 am: One person was killed in clashes between Maratha and Dalit groups on Monday, in the wake of an event to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the battle of Bhima Koregaon.

10.26 am: Jan Adhikar Party (JAP) leader and Madhepura MP Pappu Yadav issues adjournment motion notice in Lok Sabha over Maharashtra violence. Follow LIVE UPDATES on the Bhima-Koregaon violence here.

10.16 am: Several Opposition leaders in the Parliament issue adjournment motion notices over Bhima Koregaon violence. Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge and MP Rajni Patil gave an adjournment motion notice in Lok Sabha (under rule 56) and Rajya Sabha (under rule 267) respectively. Samajwadi Party MP Naresh Agrawal also gave an adjournment motion notice under rule 267 in Rajya Sabha. CPI leader D Raja gave a zero hour notice in Rajya Sabha over “increasing atrocities against Dalits.”

10.00 am: PM Narendra Modi and leaders present at the BJP Parliamentary party meeting underway at the Parliament on Wednesday. At the Parliamentary party meet on December 28, Modi had expressed displeasure over the poor response from party MPs to his greetings and messages on the NaMo app. The PM had also urged the MPs to keep him posted on feedback from the ground over the Central government’s flagship programmes. Following the reaction, at least 250 BJP MPs already upgraded the NaMo app on their smartphones and are expected to respond to the latest survey posted on the app during the BJP Parliamentary party meet today.

Triple Talaq Bill, Rajya Sabha, Triple Talaq Bill LIVE UPDATES, Parliament Winter Session, Instant Triple Talaq, Congress, Muslim Women Divorce, The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, PM Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah at BJP Parliamentary party meeting. (Express Photo/Praveen Jain)

9.45 am: Stating that the triple talaq Bill, introduced by the Central government was “unnecessary and against the Sharia and the rights of women”, the delegation members, including women, said, “The Bill is not only against Article 25 of the Constitution of India which guarantees religious freedom, but also goes against the recent judgment of the Supreme Court on the issue of triple talaq…” Read their full statement here.

9.40 am: A delegation of Gujarat Muslim Hitrakshak Samiti, a conglomerate of several Muslim organisations in the state, on Tuesday called on state Congress president Bharatsinh Solanki and requested the Congress not to support the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017 when it is tabled in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.

9.35 am: “In reading its contents, it becomes clear that the Bill was prepared without proper due diligence or regard for its consequences,” writes Salman Anees Soz for #ExpressOpinion. Read more here.

9.25 am: BJP-ally Shiv Sena has also asked for the bill to be sent to a select committee. The government, meanwhile, feels no need for it as the legislation has already been debated upon in the Lok Sabha. “There is no need to go to any committee because the issue has been debated. What should be the fate of triple talaq affected women? There is a greater consensus within the country that there should be a stringent law, preventive mechanism to give protection to Muslim women. I am confident that all parties will cooperate in Rajya Sabha,” Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan said.

9.10 am: “The bill was drafted behind closed doors with no consultation with anyone outside of a select group of ministers and officials. In response to a question in Parliament, this was confirmed as fact. All this while, a propaganda machinery ran a campaign highlighting Narendra Modi’s sensitivity to the issue,” Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala wrote in today’s ExpressOpinion section. Read more here.

9.05 am: A cross-section of Opposition parties, fence-sitters and NDA constituent TDP have demanded that the Bill be referred to a select committee of Rajya Sabha for scrutiny and wider consultation. Read more here.

9.00 am: Renuka Chowdhury, a Rajya Sabha member of the Congress, said her party stood for women empowerment of women since Independence, but it needs to see what has been actually included in the bill. “There is no question of us not standing by anything that empowers women. There is no black and white solution to this, We have to see how the debate evolves… what is actually included and how is it implementable…. and until it is equitable for all women under all clauses of talaq. This is only talaq-e-biddat (triple talaq)”, Chowdhury was quoted as saying by PTI.

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