War Of Words Between Omar Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti Over Triple Talaq Bill

Omar Abdullah was quick to remind Mehbooba Mufti that two of her lawmakers in the Rajya Sabha abstained from voting on the bill, which ended up helping the government with the numbers to pass the bill.

Triple Talaq Bill: Omar Abdullah told Mehbooba Mufti that an abstention is not a no vote.

New Delhi:

A tweet by Peoples Democratic Party leader Mehbooba Mufti condemning the bill that criminalises the practice of instant 'Triple Talaq' sparked a war of words with National Conference's Omar Abdullah on Tuesday evening, shortly after it was passed by Rajya Sabha, where the government is in a minority.

Ms Mufti had called the bill "undue interference seemingly to punish Muslims."

"Fail to understand the need to pass the triple talaq bill especially since the Supreme Court had already declared it illegal. Undue interference seemingly to punish Muslims. Given the current state of the economy, should this really have been a priority?" Ms Mufti had tweeted.

Omar Abdullah was quick to remind Ms Mufti that two of her lawmakers in the Rajya Sabha abstained from voting on the bill, which ended up helping the government with the numbers to pass the bill. 

Ms Mufti responded by asking Mr Abdullah to "get off his moral high horse" since his party had expelled Saifuddin Soz for voting against the BJP in the 1999 trust vote.

"Omar sahab, I suggest you get off your moral high horse since it was your own party that expelled Soz sahab for voting against the BJP in 1999. FYI in parliament, abstention is essentially a no vote," she wrote.

Omar Abdullah shot back that the PDP leader was recounting an incident from 20 years ago. He also told Ms Mufti that an abstention is not a no vote.

"Madam, is recounting an incident from TWENTY years ago the best you can do to defend PDP duplicity? So you are accepting you instructed your MPs to abstain. And no an abstention is NOT a no vote, a no vote is a no vote. An abstention helped the BJP this time," Mr Abdullah tweeted.

The Bill to ban 'Triple Talaq' sailed through the opposition-dominated upper house aided by a series of walkouts and abstentions. The bill saw stiff opposition when it was presented in the Lok Sabha. But several of the parties that opposed it - including Nitish Kumar's Janata Dal United, AIADMK and K Chandrashekar Rao's Telangana Rashtra Samithi -- ended up aiding the bill's passage.

The bill was passed, with 99 votes in its favour and 84 against.