Parliament updates: Asaduddin Owaisi says Muslim women celebrating passing of triple talaq bill 'don't know law'

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Parliament updates: Asaduddin Owaisi says Muslim women celebrating passing of triple talaq bill 'don't know law'
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The government has introduced the triple talaq bill in the Lok Sabha. Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Thursday raised concerns regarding the state of Muslim women in the country. The bill is expected to be put to vote on Thursday itself.

Earlier in the day, the External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj made her statement in Lok Sabha on Kulbhushan Jadhav, the former Indian Navy officer who is on death row in Pakistan. She had earlier made the statement in the Rajya Sabha. Condemning the Pakistan government over its treatment of Jadhav's family, Swaraj said,"It is unfortunate that the meeting could have been a path-breaking event but Pakistan used it as  a propaganda tool." She also urged the MPs across party lines to speak in one voice over the "absurdity" done by Pakistan.

Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi appealed for consensus in Parliament over the triple talaq bill which will be tabled today, but the Congress seemed in no mood to relent on the uproar over Union minister Ananthkumar Hedge’s remarks on the Constitution.

Congress sources said that the party has objections to the criminality and jail clause in the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights of Marriage) Bill 2017, which makes instant triple talaq a non-bailable warrant with imprisonment of up to three jails. Rahul Gandhi’s tweet mocking Arun Jaitley’s Rajya Sabha statement may also send tempers flaring, a day after the BJP and Congress appeared to leave the bitterness of the Gujarat campaign behind them.

After the Opposition virtually paralysed the Lok Sabha proceedings on Wednesday demanding dismissal of Union Minister Anant Kumar Hegde for his controversial comments on secularism and the Constitution, the government on Thursday is set to introduce the triple talaq bill in the Lower House of the Parliament. On the other hand, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj is also likely to make a statement over the Kulbhushan Jadhav row.

On Wednesday, the Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge quoting Hegde said the minister compared those supporting secularism to "children of unknown parentage", besides denigrating Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar, the architect of the Constitution.

"He (Hegde) said 'those who support secularism are like people without parentage. We do not know their bloodline. They do not know their parents but they call themselves secular. If someone says I am a secular, I get suspicious'," Kharge quoted Hegde as saying at a function in Karnataka on Sunday.

Calling the remarks totally unacceptable, the Congress leader further said, "It means we all who support secular thoughts are not born to their parents."

The Congress members also displayed posters demanding immediate sacking of Hegde, who is the Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship.

Kharge alleged that Hegde had also denigrated the architect of the Constitution, BR Ambedkar, by his remarks that the current dispensation came to power to "change" it.

The opposition uproar led to several adjournments of the House.

Rejecting Kharge's comments, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar claimed the Congress leader was trying to distort what Hegde had said. He, however, did not comment on Hegde's remarks or try to defend him.

"BR Ambedkar is the father of the Constitution and we respect him. The Prime Minister had said the Constitution is our national book (Rastriya Granth). We are committed to it and secularism. The Congress should not teach us secularism," said Kumar, while asking the opposition not to disrupt the proceedings.

"The Congress is indulging in pseudo-secularism. You (Congress) did not allow Baba Saheb Ambedkar to contest polls. He was brought to Rajya Sabha by Jan Sangh," he said, listing steps taken by the government to preserve Ambedkar's heritage.

Kumar said the opposition was training its guns on the government for not convening the Winter Session of Parliament and when it has been called, it was disrupting the proceedings.

He made the statement amid shouting of slogans against Hegde by the Opposition.

At a function in Karnataka on Sunday, Hegde had reportedly said people should identify themselves by their religions and "those who, without knowing about their parental blood, call themselves secular, they don't have their own identity...They don't know about their parentage."

 Parliament updates: Asaduddin Owaisi says Muslim women celebrating passing of triple talaq bill dont know law

File image of Parliament. PTI

He had also said "we are here to change the Constitution and we'll change it."

When the Lok Sabha met at 2:45 PM after the third adjournment and some members entered the Well displaying posters, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan reminded them of the rules of the House.

The House was first adjourned till noon and then till 2 PM due to unabated opposition protest on the issue.

The Lok Sabha was again adjourned at 4 PM for 15 minutes amid uproar in the House over Hegde's remarks.

The demand to adjourn the House was made by RSP MP N K Premachandran when Finance Minister Arun Jaitley introduced the Goods and Services Tax (Compensation to States) Amendment Bill.

As the House was witnessing ruckus, Premachandran said the GST Bill was a crucial legislation and cannot be passed amidst din and urged the Speaker to adjourn the proceedings to ensure smooth discussion.

The TRS members, who were demanding a separate high court for Telangana, were also in the Well, along with members of the Congress. Some other members raised concerns over the treatment meted out to the family members of Kulbhushan Jadhav by Pakistan.

Despite repeated requests from Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, about 20 members continued to protest in the Well of the House.

As the protests continued unabated, Mahajan asked the members to return to their seats. "If you don't want the government to say something, then let it go," she said.

She also told Kharge that his party had reservations over lesser number of sitting in the Winter session but was stalling the proceedings when the House was on.

Amid the din, papers were laid and a few members spoke during Zero Hour but as the unruly scenes continued, Mahajan adjourned the House till 2 PM after about 20 minutes of proceedings.

Before this, the House was adjourned for about 50 minutes soon after the Question Hour had begun at 11 AM.

Congress members raised slogans demanding removal of Hegde from the Council of Ministers, while members of the TRS also joined them with placards demanding a separate high court for Telengana.

Some Shiv Sena members raised slogans against Pakistan, apparently over the treatment of Jadhav's family members. Some BJP members also joined them in raising slogans like 'Pakistan murdabad' (down with Pakistan).

During Question Hour, Leader of Congress in the Lok Sabha Kharge had then too briefly raised the issue of remarks by Hegde, following which his party members rushed into the Well raising slogans such as 'Ambedkar ka apman nahin chalega' (We will not tolerate the insult of B R Ambedkar -- a key framer of the Constitution).

With inputs from PTI

Updated Date: Jan 05, 2018 13:10:53 IST

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