In a big political development, Nitish Kumar-led JD(U) has said that it will oppose the Triple Talaq bill in the Rajya Sabha. This comes amidst speculations of a rift between PM Modi- Amit Shah led BJP and JD(U).
Speaking to the news agency ANI, Bihar minister Shyam Rajak said: We will not support anything that hurts the feeling of one community. Our alliance with the BJP is strong and we will not go outside the agenda of this. But as far as the religious controversy is concerned, we will not support that."
"Janata Dal-United is opposed to it and we will continue to stand against it," said senior party leader and Bihar minister Razak on Thursday.
This comes despite that the Cabinet on Wednesday cleared a fresh bill to ban the practice of instant triple talaq, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said. The bill will be introduced in the Budget session of Parliament which begins on Monday to replace an ordinance issued in February by the previous BJP-led NDA government.
Speculation of rift between Nitish Kumar's party and BJP began when the party was not offered any seat in the new cabinet of PM Modi despite winning 16 seats out of Bihar's 40. Following this, Kumar had said that the party stands with NDA but do not want symbolic representation. In a major twist days after the result of Lok Sabha election, JD(U) vice president Prashant Kishor's political consultant company will work with West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool. While the BJP and Trinamool in West Bengal are in loggerheads with each other.
Meanwhile, with the dissolution of the 16th Lok Sabha last month, the previous bill had lapsed as it was pending in Rajya Sabha. The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, which made the practice of instant triple talaq (talaq-e-biddat) a penal offence, had faced objections from the opposition parties which claimed that jail term for a man for divorcing his wife was legally untenable.
Earlier in January 2019 Nitish Kumar had openly said that his party has nothing to do with the triple Talaq Bill. "Our stand on these controversial issues is old. There is no change in our stand. We have nothing to do with such issues," the Bihar CM had told the media after holding his first Lok Sambad in 2019.
Bills that are introduced in Rajya Sabha and are pending there do not lapse with the dissolution of Lok Sabha. However, bills passed by Lok Sabha and pending in Rajya Sabha lapse with the dissolution of the lower house.
The government had promulgated the ordinance on triple talaq twice -- in September 2018 and in February 2019 --. as the contentious bill remained pending in Rajya Sabha, though it was passed by Lok Sabha. Under the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Ordinance, 2019, divorcing through instant triple talaq is illegal, void and will attract a jail term of three years for the husband
In the first session of the 17th Lok Sabha, the new government plans to convert 10 ordinances, including the one to ban the practice of instant triple talaq, into law.The ordinances were issued in February-March this year by the previous government as these could not be converted into Acts of Parliament in the last session of the 16th Lok Sabha.
Since the Narendra Modi government returned to power in the recently held elections, it has decided to give a fresh push to these proposed laws in the newly-constituted Lok Sabha.These ordinances will have to be converted into laws within 45 days of the beginning of the session, else they will lapse.