Citizenship, Triple Talaq Bills Lapse in Rajya Sabha as House Adjourns Sine Die

Two prestagious bills of Narendra Modi government, the Citizenship Bill and Tripl Talaq Bill , which were facing strong resistance from the opposition and even from some of the BJP’s allies, are set to lapse, after the budget session of Rajya Sabha was adjourned sine die this afternoon.

As This will be the last session to the present Lok Sabha, ahead of 2019 general elections, there is no chance to reconvene Rajya Sabha again for these two bills. The fate of the bills have to be decided by the new government, to be formed after the polls.

The triple talaq bill, seeking to criminalise the Muslim practice with a provision of three years imprisonment to the husband, was passed in the Lok Sabha on December 27 last year with 245 votes in favour and 11 against it.

The opposition parties wanted the bill to be sent to the Select Committee of Parliament for further vetting, a demand rejected by the Centre. However, an ordinance was re-promulgated in January this year as the revised bill could not be passed in the Rajya Sabha where the government lacks a majority.

The issue of triple talaq was taken up in Parliament in August last year after the practice that allows Muslim men to divorce their wives simply by uttering “talaq” three times in quick succession was ruled as “unconstitutional” by a five-judge bench of the Supreme Court.

Similarly, the BJP has been facing severe resitence and protests, through out North Eastern states, even from its own chief ministers,  against the BJP’s decision to go ahead with the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill. The proposed amendment was supposed to relax citizenship eligibility criteria for Hindus, Sikhs, Parsis, Jains, Christians and Buddhists who came from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh for reasons of religious persecution. The contentious bill was also passed by the Lok Sabha last month.

In a meeting on January 29, as many as 10 reginal outfits, including allies of the BJP,  the National Peoples’ Party (NPP), in Meghalaya, the Mizo National Front (MNF) in Mizoram, Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) in Nagaland, Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) among others had passed a resolution opposing the bill. In BJP-ruled Assam, the party’s coalition partner AGP recently quit the government in protest.

Arunachal Pradesh BJP’s  chief minister Pema Khandu had also asked Union home minister Rajnath Singh not to table the bill in the Rajya Sabha.Last week, Meghalaya chief minister Conrad Sangma said his National People’s Party would quit the NDA, if the bill is not scrapped. The Nagaland cabinet, in which BJP is also partner, also rejected the bill, following pressure from various tribal organisations and student bodies.

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