For the second time in a row, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi, which boasts of empowering Muslim community especially women, abstained during voting on Triple Talaq Bill in the Lok Sabha on December 27.
The party which claims to be the champion of Muslim causes staged a vanishing act on December in the Lower House during the voting on the Triple Talaq Bill which prohibits divorce of Muslims couples by pronouncing talaq three times by their husbands. Interestingly, their alliance partner in Telangana, AIMIM has been vehemently opposing the Bill in Lok Sabha and its only member Asaduddin Owaisi voted against the Bill.
During the debate in the Lok Sabha on December 27, TRS Parliamentary Party leader A P Jithender Reddy had stated that the Centre under the pretext of protecting women's rights is aiming to mess with the integrity of the country.
"Modifying religious practices is not the purpose of this House. This Bill is entirely arbitrary. We should ensure the integration of minority community into the majority, not alienate them. This Bill is misconceived," he added.
The statement from Reddy came just days after its party chief Rao had stated that he is jointly working with All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) party president Asaduddin Owaisi on a national level in order to unify the Muslim community in India, in accordance with plans chalked out for a Federal Front.
However, when it came to taking a stand on the Bill, TRS, which is perceived to be cosying up with the BJP as well, decided to abstain.
A TRS Parliamentarian said on Friday that the party had decided only to participate in the discussion on Triple Talaq but not in voting.
Before the commencement of the Assembly elections, Chief Minister KCR had launched a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi for not increasing Muslim reservations to 12 per cent during various public meetings and assured that he will continue to fight for Muslims in getting the reservation.
On a closer look, the political outfit while distributing the tickets for the Assembly elections this time selected only two Muslim candidates out of a total of 105. Moreover, in 2014, there were as less as eight Muslims in the Telangana Assembly. Out of eight, seven were from AIMIM in Hyderabad region and one was from TRS from Nizamabad.
After four hours of debate, the Bill was passed in the lower house of the Parliament amid din on the floor of the House with 11 noes and 245 ayes.
The issue of Triple Talaq was taken up in the Parliament after in August last year, a five-judge bench of the Apex Court ruled unconstitutional a law that allowed Muslim men to divorce their wives simply by uttering "talaq" three times in quick succession.
In a landmark 3-2 verdict, the Apex Court found the practice un-Islamic and "arbitrary", and disagreed that Triple Talaq was an integral part of religious practice.