Did Modi Govt Pass Triple Talaq Bill By ‘Deceiving’ Opposition?

Some opposition parties accused the Narendra Modi-led government of using “deception” to have the Bill passed.

Published
Politics
3 min read
The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2019, better known as the Triple Talaq Bill, was passed in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday, 30 July
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The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2019, better known as the Triple Talaq Bill, was passed in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday, 30 July. Despite the numbers not being in favour of parties which supported the Bill, the government managed its passage with a vote of 99 to 84.

Some opposition parties accused the Narendra Modi-led government of using “deception” to have the Bill passed. According to Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, the government had asked the Opposition to give a list of Bills to be sent to the Select Committee, in which the Triple Talaq Bill featured as top priority.

“The government did not tell the Opposition whether the Bill was sent to the Select Committee or not,” he said.

“On Monday night, the government had clandestinely sent the Bill to be put up before Rajya Sabha for discussion. While the Opposition MPs were informed about it on Tuesday morning, no Opposition party got the chance to issue three-line whip,” he added.

Four Congress MPs were absent during the Rajya Sabha debate on Triple Talaq: Vivek Tankha from Madhya Pradesh, Partap Singh Bajwa from Punjab, Mukut Mithi from Arunachal Pradesh and Ranjib Biswal from Odisha. Sanjay Sinh, who is a Rajya Sabha MP from Assam, had resigned from the House on the day of the debate, further reducing the party’s strength.

Another party which has slammed the Modi government for the manner in which Bills are being passed is the Trinamool Congress. Party MP in the Rajya Sabha Derek O’Brien accused the government of “ignoring conventions” and bypassing parliamentary committees.

O’Brien also accused the government of using its “trusted allies’ Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate (ED) for intimidating opposition MPs”. According to reports, 12 out of 13 MPs of the Trinamool Congress were present at the House and voted against the Bill. MP KD Singh, who is facing an Enforcement Directorate probe, was absent.

Senior Samajwadi Party leader Ramgopal Yadav has also claimed that the government is passing Bills through “fraud”.

“The government is using fraud (to pass Bills) every day... We are not informed in advance about the business for the House. I come to know only when the list of business is sent to me at 9 am on the same day,” Yadav told the media.

Had the Government Agreed to Send the Bill to a Select Committee?

Congress leader Anand Sharma claims that there was a breach of trust by the government and that the Bill was to be sent to a Select Committee.

“We got the information very late into the night (that the Bill will be tabled). This was on the top of our list (of Bills to be sent to a Select Committee). We were under the impression that the Bill will be sent to the Select Committee,” Sharma said.

TMC’s O’Brien, DMK’s Tiruchi Siva and CPM’ s Elamaram Kareem concur with Sharma’s allegation.

The charge made by Anand Sharma, Derek O’Brien and Ramgopal Yadav is important as the three leaders are part of the Business Advisory Committee and any discussion on sending the Bill to a Select Committee would have taken place within the Committee’s purview.

BJP General Secretary Bhupender Yadav, who is a part of the Business Advisory Committee as well, has denied the Opposition’s allegation of the government having used “clandestine” means to get the Bill passed.

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