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In victory for govt, Rajya Sabha passes Bill to ban instant triple talaq

On paper, as many as 136 members should have opposed the Bill in a House of 241 members

Archis Mohan  |  New Delhi 

triple talaq
The AIADMK and JD(U) members walked out after saying they opposed the Bill

With the passing the Bill on Tuesday evening, Parliament has approved a law to make instant a criminal offence. Under the proposed law, which not only the opposition but two of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s allies opposed, offenders will get a three-year jail term.

The highlight of the day, however, was the Narendra Modi government managing the numbers in support of the Bill in the The government would have suffered an embarrassing defeat if all political parties who opposed the Bill had walked the talk.

The challenge before the BJP’s floor strategists was more difficult than it had faced last week when the had taken up a Bill to amend the Right to Information (RTI) law. Unlike the earlier instance, its allies the Janata Dal (United) and the AIADMK opposed the Bill. Parties that had either supported the government or walked out during the debate on the RTI Bill, particularly the YSR Congress and the Telangana Rashtra Samiti, also opposed the Bill.

On paper, as many as 136 members should have opposed the Bill in a House of 241 members. The Bill was passed with 99 to 84 votes.

With Home Minister Amit Shah present in the House, BJP’s Piyush Goyal, Bhupender Yadav, CM Ramesh and Pralhad Joshi reached out to opposition parties and MPs. Some were convinced to absent themselves, others to stage a walkout. The AIADMK and JD(U) members walked out after saying they opposed the Bill.

Modi later tweeted: “An archaic and medieval practice has finally been confined to the dustbin of history. Parliament abolishes and corrects a historical wrong done to Muslim women. This is a victory of gender justice and will further equality in society. India rejoices today.”

How govt got it cleared in Upper House

  • 7-member Biju Janata Dal voted with the govt
  • 11-member AIADMK, a BJP ally, spoke against the Bill and walked out
  • BJP ally JD(U), with six members, spoke against the Bill and walked out
  • TRS (6) didn’t participate
  • BSP (4) spoke against it; was absent from voting
  • TDP (2) spoke against it; was absent from voting
  • 4 MPs of Cong, 6 of SP,2 of NCP, 1 of TMC and some others absented themselves
  • As Amit Shah sat in the House, BJP’s Piyush Goyal, Bhupender Yadav, C M Ramesh and Pralhad Joshi reached out to MPs from Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu
  • Sanjay Sinh of the Congress quit his Rajya Sabha membership to join the BJP

First Published: Wed, July 31 2019. 00:53 IST
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