New Delhi: The contentious triple talaq bill was passed in Rajya Sabha today with 99 votes in favour bill and 84 votes against it. The bill was tabled in Rajya Sabha on Tuesday for consideration and passage.
“In 1986 you rose to 400, Shah Bano’s case happened in 1986 and you never received a majority after that. I am giving you food for thought,” Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told Congress during the discussion on the bill.
(Also read: ‘Triple Talaq Bill About Justice, Don’t Apply Political Lens,’ Says Ravi Shankar Prasad)
Unlike the Lower House, where the BJP-led NDA enjoys a majority, it had its task cut out in Rajya Sabha where Opposition parties had an edge over the treasury benches. Some of the BJP’s allies, including the JD(U), had also expressed their reservation about the bill.
Reports said that at least four Union ministers and two senior Rajya Sabha MPs had spoken to Opposition parties and alliance partners who were not too upbeat about the bill.
Sources had also revealed that some MPs from Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Samajwadi Party (SP) and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) may abstain from voting, while members of BJP ally Janata Dal United (JDU) could most likely skip the session.
Last week in Lok Sabha, the bill was passed by a voice vote amid a walkout by Congress, SP, Trinamool Congress, DMK and others. It was passed in the 16th Lok Sabha as well but could not get okayed in the Rajya Sabha.
The Narendra Modi government had tabled the bill, which criminalises instant divorce by Muslim men and seeks jail term for the guilty, in the first session after it took the oath of office for a second term in May.
The BJP has issued a whip telling its MPs to make sure they are present.
Meanwhile, several Opposition parties have opposed the bill but the Government has asserted that it is a step towards gender equality and justice. Parties like the Congress, the Trinamool Congress and the DMK have demanded that it be sent to a parliamentary committee for scrutiny.