Press Trust of india

Oppn in Rajya Sabha united on sending Triple Talaq bill to select panel

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New Delhi, Dec 28: The contentious Triple Talaq bill is likely to face stiff resistance from opposition parties in the Rajya Sabha which are united in their demand for sending the legislation to the Select Committee for further scrutiny.

Sources said the numbers are stacked slightly in favour of the Opposition in the Upper House.

The UPA has 112 members in the Upper House and the NDA 93. One seat is vacant. The remaining 39 members of other parties are unattached to either NDA or UPA and are likely to play an important role in the passage of the contentious legislation.

Though the NDA is way short of the half-way mark of 123 in the 245-member House, it had emerged victorious in the election of Rajya Sabha deputy chairman, with its nominee Harivansh of the Janata Dal (United) bagging 125 votes against 101 polled by the Opposition-backed Congress member B K Hariprasad.

The government has expressed hope that the bill, which criminalises the practice of instant divorce by Muslim men, will find support in the Rajya Sabha, whose approval is necessary for the bill to become the law.

The bill was passed by the Lok Sabha for the second time in less than a year after a heated debate on Thursday.

According to the sources, opposition parties have held discussions on raising the demand for referring the bill to the Select Committee on Monday -- when it is likely to come up for consideration in the Upper House.

The sources said all Congress members in the Rajya Sabha would also meet in Parliament on Monday morning, ahead of the start of house proceedings, to evolve its strategy on the issue.

CPI member D Raja said the Opposition has the numbers and would press for referring the bill to the Select Committee.

"Opposition parties are asking for referring the Triple Talaq bill to the Select Committee for further scrutiny when the bill comes up for consideration in the Rajya Sabha on Monday," Raja said.

He alleged that the government wants to use the bill for political purposes.

"They are not genuinely interested in gender equality and gender justice," Raja alleged.

Another leader claimed that opposition parties are united in referring the bill to the Select Committee as the proposed legislation needs to be examined properly.

Opposition leaders claimed they would not allow the passage of the bill in any case.

The government had not agreed to the opposition demand for sending the earlier bill to the Select Committee, when it was brought before the house in the Monsoon session of Parliament.

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