Triple Talaq Bill: Azad says government kept opposition in the dark

Faced with embarrassment after some opposition members were found absent in the Rajya Sabha when it voted on the Triple Talaq Bill, Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad on Wednesday alleged that the government kept the opposition in the dark.

He said the opposition wanted at least half of the 23 bills listed by the government to be sent to the Select Committee. After discussions with the Parliamentary Affairs Minister and others in the ruling alliance, six bills were identified as category A bills to be sent to the House panel.

There were two bills under Category B to be taken up by the Select Committee.

“So, my submission is that the six bills which we had given on priority to be sent to Select Committee included the bill discussed yesterday and passed. And since we were in the dark we could not inform members of Parliament.

“Number two, the second bill which is being considered today is also on priority list to be sent to the Select Committee,” Azad said.

The Congress leader said that on the one hand the government was seeking from the opposition a list of bills to be sent to the Select Committee, on the other it put forward one such bill for passage.

“You tell your people to be present. We remain under the illusion that this bill is going to the Select Committee. This is not done. This is unfair on the part of the government,” Azad rued.

The Rajya Sabha on Tuesday passed the bill criminalising Triple Talaq with 99 votes being polled in its favour and 84 against.

Surprisingly, some Congress members were absent at the time of voting.

The passage of the Triple Talaq bill is seen as major win for the BJP-led government which still lacks majority in the Upper House.