Reconsider Stand On Triple Talaq: BJP's Message To Nitish Kumar

Nitish Kumar had publicly said he does not support the bill and in last session, his Janata Dal United had voted against the bill, along with the opposition.

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Reconsider Stand On Triple Talaq: BJP's Message To Nitish Kumar

PM Modi had spoken strongly in favour of the triple talaq bill


Patna: 

The bill to ban instant triple talaq re-introduced in parliament, the BJP is now trying to get ally Nitish Kumar to back it. The Bihar Chief Minister had publicly said he does not support the bill and in last session, his Janata Dal United had voted against the bill, along with the opposition. It had proved costly for the BJP as the flagship bill got stalled in Rajya Sabha and lapsed.

This time, their messenger of choice was Sushil Modi, Mr Kumar's deputy, who after much backroom manoeuvring, went public today. In a series of tweets the Deputy Chief Minister argued in favour of the bill and citied the Prime Minister's argument about the Congress "missing opportunities" of bringing about gender equality.

"The move to amend the Constitution to put an end to a social evil like triple talaq should not be viewed like a religious or political hurdle. Instead, it should be viewed as a move to empower women," Sushil Modi said in tweet in Hindi.

The BJP, which returned with a larger majority than in 2014 in the recently concluded national elections, has repeatedly underscored the need to pass the triple talaq bill. Its leaders have gone public saying it is tied to the Prime Minister's new motto of "Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas".

But the numbers in Rajya Sabha still do not favour the government. With Naveen Patnaik's Biju Janata Dal and Andhra Pradesh's ruling YSR Congress also opposed to the bill, the odds against it are heavy.

On Tuesday, PM Modi had spoken strongly in favour of the bill, saying it was linked to women's empowerment, not a community. He also accused the Congress on slipping up twice on that score - once in the '50s, when there was a chance to establish a uniform civil code and again in the 80s, through the Shah Bano case.

In a veiled warning to Nitish Kumar, Sushil Modi tweeted: "The political outfits which are still thinking like Congress, will like the grand old party lose the third opportunity to do justice to women."

The JDU, like most opposition parties, has been against the provision of jail term for the husband and contends that the bill, in its current form, would end up victimising Muslims.

This time, with the party already upset with the way Nitish Kumar was treated after the Lok Sabha election results, it has given the impression that he is unlikely to revisit his stand.

Mr Kumar, whose party won 16 seats of the 17 seats it contested in the Lok Sabha election, was not being offered more than a symbolic representation - a single berth -- in PM Modi's government. The upset Chief Minister had refused to avail it.



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