On the second last day of Winter Session of Parliament, the ruling BJP will make another attempt to get the contentious Triple Talaq Bill passed in Rajya Sabha. The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2018 that seeks to criminalise the practice of instant divorce among Muslims will be tabled in the Upper House on Monday even as the Opposition remained firm on its stand to send the bill to a select committee. According to reports, if the government again fails to get the legislation passed in the house, it may reintroduce an Ordinance to criminalise the instant divorce practice. Earlier on December 31, 2018, the revised Triple Talaq Bill failed to get Rajya Sabha nod and the House was adjourned till January 2 following uproar by Opposition parties.
In a landmark judgment by the Supreme Court in 2017, the practice of instant divorce by saying the word 'talaq' (divorce) thrice was held unconstitutional. Following the Supreme Court verdict, the Centre had drafted the triple talaq bill which had already been passed by Lok Sabha. However, the biggest hurdle for the bill is Rajya Sabha, where the BJP lacks numbers as some of its allies also sided with the Opposition over the issue.
Nitish Kumar' Janata Dal-United (JD-U), BJP's key ally in Bihar, has also decided to support the Opposition's demand of sending the bill to a select committee of the House, saying "the issue is related to a big community" and there should be no hurry in bringing the legislation in Rajya Sabha.
JD-U Rajya Sabha MP and party’s Bihar unit chief Bashistha Narain Singh made it clear that if the voting takes place in the Rajya Sabha, his party will vote against the government. The JD-U has six members in Rajya Sabha, including the Deputy Chairman Harivansh. Lack of support from the party will further reduce the NDA’s chances of getting the bill passed in the Upper House, where it is already short of majority.
The JD(U) enjoys considerable support from minority muslims and Nitish Kumar had last month obliquely disapproved the idea of an ordinance to start the construction of Ram Temple in Ayodhya.