Nitish Kumar's Janata Dal United walked out of the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday during the debate on a contentious bill to ban Triple Talaq - the practice of Muslim men instantly divorcing their wives by uttering 'talaq' thrice. JDU, an ally of ruling NDA, has been opposing the bill saying it will create a lack of trust in the society and walked out of the House. The walkout comes as a boost for the Bharatiya Janata Party as it would bring down the majority mark, which normally stands at 121.
Earlier, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that the Bill was about women empowerment and the dignity of the women. Last week, the Bill, which criminalises instant divorce among Muslims, was passed in the Lok Sabha by 303 ayes and 82 noes amid objections by the Opposition parties on Wednesday. The Triple Talaq Bill, 2019 will make the practice of instant divorce by simply saying the Talaq word thrice a criminal offence. The practice of instant divorce in Islam was banned by the Supreme Court in 2017. The top court had ruled that the practice was "un-Islamic".
While introducing the Triple talaq Bill, Prasad said, "This issue should not be seen through a political prism or vote bank politics. This is a question of humanity. This is for ensuring justice to women, dignity and empowerment to women and to ensure gender dignity and equality." He said after the Supreme Court judgement banning instant triple talaq as many as 574 cases of the illegal practice have come to the notice of the government.
Stating JDU does not support the Bill, Rajiv Ranjan Singh earlier told the Lok Sabha that it will "create a lack of trust in the mind of the society." He was of the view that government should do all that is necessary to create "awareness among the people of this community (minority)."
This society does run with strict laws, he said, adding that everyone is run by customs. "That society also has its own customs," Singh said adding the government has taken this "historic" step to put an end to their customs.
Citing the example of government's Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Singh said the need of the hour is that in haste no law should be made and rather awareness should be created. Several laws made earlier were being misused, Singh said adding "if the law is made like this it would be misued."
Since 1996, he said, JD (U) is with NDA. Today also it is with NDA barring a few years in between, Singh said, adding in the beginning itself JD (U) had made it clear that on some contentious issues it will not support the government.
"We boycott the Bill," he said and walked out of the proceedings of the House.