NEW DELHI: The opposition appears set to

oppose the triple talaq bill with “criminalisation clause”
as the government readies to table the contentious legislation in Rajya Sabha on Monday.

The Congress-led bloc is likely to move a resolution seeking that the bill be referred to a joint select committee. In case it is not accepted at the start, the opposition would prefer a discussion with voting to amend the bill. On Thursday, Lok Sabha passed the bill but only after the non-NDA combine led by Congress joined hands against it, accusing the government of “criminalising a civil offence” with the idea of targeting the Muslim community.

The combative opposition stance in the lower chamber, where passage of the bill was a foregone conclusion, suggested it would be even strong in RS where the government lacks numbers to push it through. The parties will hold a meeting on Monday to decide its strategy ahead of the discussion.

Major players are learnt to have issued whips to their members to be present in the upper House. Deputy opposition leader Anand Sharma said, “The government has made no attempt to evolve a consensus and wants to pass the bill without legislative scrutiny. It shows the government has an agenda on this issue.”

While the Centre is numerically handicapped in the upper House, what further complicates its calculations is that parties which otherwise support the government in Parliament like AIADMK opposed the bill in LS.

However, the significance of the legislation goes beyond its fate, with parties eager to use it for political signalling. BJP has long used it as part of its “Hindutva” campaign bouquet, confident that it will help it further the “appeasement” charge against “secular” parties.

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