New Delhi: The government on Tuesday said it is in talks with the Congress for ensuring smooth passage of the triple talaq bill in the Rajya Sabha.
"We are in talks with the Congress party and others for the triple talaq bill and hope for a smooth passage in Rajya Sabha. It can be taken up maybe tomorrow (Wednesday)," Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar told reporters outside Parliament.
He also said that the Congress did not press for amendment in the Lok Sabha. Similarly, they should ensure smooth passage of the bill in the Upper House.
The Congress and some other parties had demanded in the Lok Sabha that the bill should be sent to the Standing Committee but the government rejected their demand.
The amendments to the bill moved by the Opposition too, were rejected.
Meanwhile, Opposition parties including Congress met on Tuesday to discuss the strategy to be adopted on the bill when it is taken up in the Upper House.
PTI quoted Congress sources as saying that the party would consult a larger Opposition before finalising its stand on the bill which proposed to ban instant triple talaq and make the practice a cognisable offence.
On the other hand, Renuka Chowdhury, a Rajya Sabha member of the Congress, said her party always stood for empowerment of women, right since Independence, but the party needs to see what has been actually included in the bill.
"There is no question of us not standing by anything that empowers women. There is no black and white solution to this, We have to see how the debate evolves... What is actually included and how is it implementable and until it is equitable for all women under all clauses of talaq. This is only talaq-e-biddat (triple talaq)", Chowdhury said.
Meanwhile, Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Tuesday attacked the Congress for its 'confused' stand on the bill and wanted to know why it was sad while the Muslim women were happy.
"These days a number of reforms are being brought in. The bill is one of them," the Minority Affairs Minister told reporters.
"The Congress takes one step forward and then ten steps backwards. The party is confused on triple talaq," he said. "The Muslim women are happy, but I don`t know why the Congress is sad," he added, IANS reported.
The Lok Sabha had on December 28, 2017, passed the bill making instant triple illegal with up to three years in jail for the husband. The bill was passed after the House rejected a string of amendments moved by various Opposition members.
MPs from the RJD, AIMIM, BJD, AIADMK and All India Muslim League had opposed the bill, calling it arbitrary in nature and a faulty proposal.
The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill would only be applicable on instant triple talaq or 'talaq-e- biddat'. It gives power to the victim to approach a magistrate seeking "subsistence allowance" for herself and minor children. A victim can also seek the custody of her minor children from the magistrate.
Under the law, instant triple talaq in any form - spoken, in writing or by electronic means such as email, SMS and WhatsApp - would be illegal and void.
(With Agency inputs)