Bharatiya Janata Party led central government had tried to pass the Triple Talaq bill in the last session of the Parliament. Congress led opposition parties had for no particular reason, other than pleasing the minorities of the country, blocked the passing of the bill in the Parliament. The absurd theories given against the bill were laughable to say the least; they challenged the bill stating that they were worried about who would pay for the maintenance of the wife if the husband was sent to prison under the provisions of the Triple Talaq bill. This was nothing more than a ploy to keep the Muslim hardliners happy in spite of working for the greater good of the society. This is exactly why Union Minister for Law and Justice Ravi Shankar Prasad has decided to approach ex-Congress President Sonia Gandhi, ex-Uttar Pradesh CM Mayawati and West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee ahead of the monsoon session of the Parliament to gain their approval for sure passage of the bill. The BJP government is looking to gain acceptance of the three strong women leaders from the opposition.
This is a well thought out plan and would lead the three women leaders into a fix considering the anti Triple Talaq bill is related to gender justice, gender dignity and gender equality. If any or all three of these strong women leaders refuse to show support for the bill, the BJP can easily accuse them of being against women’s interests. Ravi Shankar Prasad has approached the three women leaders asking them which points in the bill they have an issue with. He has also made it clear that the central government is willing to keep an ‘open mind’ and hold a debate over the non-bailable clauses in the Bill. Ravi Shankar Prasad had in May opened up about how the practice of Triple Talaq was still prevalent and going on unhindered in Telangana and Uttar Pradesh. This was going on despite the Supreme Court’s ruling and Lok Sabha passing the Triple Talaq bill. Prasad said, “22 Islamic countries have banned it. India is a secular country. Why are important leaders like Sonia Gandhi, Mayawati and Mamta Banerjee backtracking on it when the issue is purely justice and empowerment of women?”
The bill had been passed in December in Lok Sabha and the only place it could get stalled is the Rajya Sabha where the BJP government lacks majority. The BJP government has tried to corner the three leaders from Congress, Trinamool Congress and Bahujan Samaj Party in order to expose them in the public. All these three parties had opposed the passing of the bill previously and this strategy by the BJP will make it dangerous for them to oppose it in the coming monsoon session. If the three leaders choose to directly challenge the bill, it would infuriate the female population of the country; if they agree without much ado, the BJP is set to gain from having fulfilled its promise of passing the much needed bill for Muslim women. BJP and Ravi Shankar Prasad just need to play the right cards from now on to benefit from the Triple Talaq bill.