Government in talks with Congress over Triple Talaq Bill: Ananth Kumar

Anti-triple talaq bill in RS tomorrow

Anti-triple talaq bill in RS tomorrow

The Congress would consult a larger opposition before finalizing its stand on the Bill, party sources said.

Apart from the usual band of Opposition parties - Congress, Trinamool Congress, CPM, CPI, DMK, SP, BSP, BJD - working together on this, even the AIADMK which has on many occasions so far bailed out the government, seemed inclined on Tuesday to support the bill being sent off to a Select Committee.

The Bill which also aims at awarding a three-year jail term to husbands practising triple talaq was earlier cleared by the Lok Sabha.

The Bill will be introduced by Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad in the upper house. The opposition criticised the government of not deliberating on the bill while insisting on referring it to the Select Committee.

At the meeting of the business advisory committee, nearly all Opposition parties - Congress, SP, BSP, CPI, CPM, Trinamool Congress, DMK, NCP and BJD - favoured the select committee option. The government plans to table the bill in the Rajya Sabha, where it is in a minority, on Wednesday. The bill will be introduced on Wednesday in all likelihood.

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The fate of the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, which criminalises instant triple talaq, hung in the balance Tuesday with a cross-section of Opposition parties, fence-sitters and NDA constituent TDP demanding it be referred to a select committee of Rajya Sabha for scrutiny and wider consultation.

What is anti-triple talaq bill? "We have told Congress that since they have not pressed for any amendments in the Lok Sabha, they should do the same in the Rajya Sabha", Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar said.

According to reports, the government may give in to the demand of the opposition and table the draft to a parliamentary panel first. There was no real discussion and the government's brute majority in the Lower House ensured that the bill took only a few hours for it to be passed.

The MPs, sources said, pointed out that the bill is too short and it is not just the government that wants to protect Muslim women. "There is no question of us not standing by anything that empowers women".

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