Passage of Triple Talaq Bill leaves opposition quarrelling

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on July 31, 2019 Published on July 31, 2019

People’s Democratic Party leader Mehbooba Mufti (file photo)

While the passage of the Triple Talaq Bill in the Rajya Sabha was a moment of glory for the BJP, the Opposition was taken aback to see that its failure to ensure numbers helped the government.

Citing the absence of about 25 Opposition MPs during the voting on the Bill, a senior Opposition member said the Opposition is losing the spirit to fight.

Within the Opposition camp, too, there were efforts to put the blame on each other. People’s Democratic Party leader Mehbooba Mufti said she failed to understand the need to pass the bill when the Supreme Court has already declared it illegal.

“Undue interference seemingly to punish Muslims. Given the current state of the economy, should this really have been a priority?” she asked.

Countering her, National Conference leader Omar Abdullah asked Mufti to check how the members of her own party voted on the Bill. Two members of the People’s Democratic Party abstained from the voting after stating that they are opposed to the Bill.

“I understand they abstained which helped the government with the numbers needed to pass the bill. You can’t help the government and then ‘fail to understand need to pass!”Abdullah tweeted.

Mufti asked Abdullah to “get off the moral high horse” and reminded him that his party had expelled Saifuddin Soz for voting against the BJP in 1999. “FYI in Parliament, abstention is essentially a no vote,” she added.

The number game

With nearly 25 Opposition members being absent during the voting, the Opposition’s motion to send the select committee was defeated for just 16 votes. While five members of the Congress were absent, four of the Bahujan Samaj Party, six of the Samajwadi Party, one each from the Trinamool Congress, the Rashtriya Janata Dal, the DMK, the YSRCP and the Left were absent during the voting. Two members each from the NCP and the PDP were also absent. Members of the AIADMK, the Janata Dal (United), the Telugu Desam Party and the Telangana Rashtra Samithi also did not take part in the voting.

Opposition leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said in the Rajya Sabha that the Opposition wanted at least six of the total 23 bills to go to a Select Committee. He said Triple Talaq Bill was one of them.

Published on July 31, 2019
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