All eyes on Parliament as Rafale debate likely in LS, Elders set for showdown on Triple Talaq

New Delhi, Jan 2 (UNI) All eyes will be in the proceedings of both the Houses of Parliament on Wednesday as the Winter Session would resume again after New Year’s Day break.

Heated deliberations and possible pandemonium are on cards as The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage), popularly called Triple Talaq Bill is scheduled to be tabled in the Rajya Sabha.

In the Lok Sabha, excitement could be more as in a change of strategy, Congress floor leader Mallikarjun Kharge has told the House on December 31 – just before the House was adjourned – that his party is ready for discussions on Rafale jet fighter deal with France.

Until now, the Congress had continued to disrupt proceedings in Lok Sabha and at times even the Upper House demanding a Joint Parliamentary Committee to probe the deal. 

But on Monday, Mr Kharge said he and his party colleagues would accept the ‘challenge’ and debate the issue after Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the principal opposition party was “running away” from a debate.

Amid much interruptions, Mr Kharge had said: “They (the Government) are ready to discuss it (on Rafale) and because they have challenged us, we have accepted the challenge”. 

“…You should fix the issue. We are ready to discuss it,” he urged the Speaker Sumitra Mahajan.

In the House of Elders, Law and Justice Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad will move the Triple Talaq draft law.

In a media interview on Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said: “Triple Talaq is not a religion issue. This is about gender justice. Several Islamic nations have banned it”.

Sounding critical of the Congress approach to the issue, Mr Modi also said:”….for years there was no determined effort to end Triple Talaq”.

The fresh draft law – after it was stalled in the Rajya Sabha last year – was passed by the Lok Sabha yet again on December 27 amid a walkout by the Opposition. 

The Bill makes all declarations of instant triple talaq void and illegal. It seeks to make the practice a punishable offence with imprisonment of three years. 

The Rajya Sabha witnessed uproar over the bill on December 31, Monday as Congress and other opposition parties persisted with its demand that it should be referred to the Select Committee of the House for scrutiny.

The Government has accused the Congress of obstructing justice for Muslim women by not allowing its passage and said the ruling side is ready for debate on it.