In a setback to the government’s efforts to pass the triple talaq Bill in the Rajya Sabha, the Janata Dal(U), a National Democratic Alliance partner, on Saturday said it would oppose the draft legislation in the Upper House.
Party spokesperson K.C. Tyagi slammed the Bill, which criminalises instant divorce by Muslim men with a jail term of up to three years, and said it was of an “imposing nature” and would “definitely create a lack of trust in society”.
“We believe that ours is a nation based on a delicate balance in respect of laws and governing principles for different religious and ethnic groups. We must not impose any view without obtaining substantive consultations,” Mr. Tyagi said.
The JD(U) does believe in reforms, but these should be brought after in-depth consultations with various religious and ethnic groups, he said.
The Bill may be tabled in the Rajya Sabha on Monday, sources said. The Lok Sabha passed it on July 25 and if the Rajya Sabha passes it, it will become law, replacing an ordinance which had enacted a similar provision through an executive decree.
The JD(U), led by Bihar CM Nitish Kumar, did not vote in the Bill’s support in the Lok Sabha and staged a walkout. It made little difference though, as the BJP enjoys a strong majority in the House on its ownThe party may adopt a similar tactic in the Rajya Sabha.
The numbers are much trickier for the saffron alliance as it is still far short of a majority and depends on parties like the BJD, the TRS and the YSR Congress — which are not aligned to either the BJP-led NDA or the Opposition.
The JD(U), which is otherwise an NDA constituent, has six members in the Rajya Sabha, whose current strength is 240, according to details on its website.
The government had recently got the better of the Opposition, which includes the Congress, the TMC and the Left among others, in the Rajya Sabha when it got the RTI Bill passed with the support of the BJD, the TRS and the YSR Congress.
However, the three may not take a similar stand on the contentious Triple Talaq Bill, which faces strong opposition by a number of Muslim groups.