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Numbers not on their side, Triple Talaq bill slips from ‘priority’ list for BJP this Parliament session

In the Rajya Sabha, while the BJP would be without the JD(U) when the bill comes up, it would have the support of BJD and Independents.

With the Janata Dal (United) making it clear that it won’t back the Centre on the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill 2019, commonly known as the triple talaq bill, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party seems to have put it on the bacburner for this session of Parliament. A report in the Indian Express quoted a BJP leader as saying that the bill was not on the party’s ‘top priority list’ currently and the govenrment wants to make sure that they have the required support in the Rajya Sabha before introducing it.

The bill proposes to make the practice of instant Triple Talaq among Muslims a punishable offence. The Opposition parties claim that the bill unfairly targets Muslims and that jail term for a man who wants to divorce his wife was legally untenable. Owing to the Opposition protests, the Triple Talaq bill could not be taken up for debate when it was introduced in the Lok Sabha last month. Given the majority that BJP holds in the Lok Sabha, the bill is expected to pass in the house. But getting it through the Upper House would be a challenge.

In the Rajya Sabha, while the BJP would be without the JD(U) when the bill comes up, it would have the support of BJD and Independents. This would take the NDA’s tally in the 241-member House to 109, while the Opposition currently has 108. The three parties whose votes would be crucial are – JD(U), TRS and YSR Congress. While the JDU and TRS have 6 members each in the house, the YSR Congress Party has two. The TRS and the YSRCP are yet to spell out their stand.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Prahlad Joshi listed 17 bills on Friday when he mentioned the agenda for the 5 remaining days in this session. The triple talaq bill was a part of this list, but with only 5 days remaining, it will be an uphill ask to introduce all these bills, debate over them and pass them in both the houses. The ongoing session of Parliament is scheduled to conclude on July 26.

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Source: Financial Express