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Two NDA partners on collision course.

Summary: Nitish Kumar's party says it will oppose BJP-led instant talaq bill in the Parliament

Patna: In another jolt to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the ruling Janata Dal United (JD-U) in Bihar headed by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Thursday announced to oppose in the Parliament the instant talaq bill, an Islamic practice which allows Muslim men to divorce their wives by uttering the word 'talaq" or divorce in Arabic three times. The JD-U which is headed by the Bihar chief minister Kumar is a key ally of the BJP and together they made a clean sweep in Bihar, winning 39 of the state's total 40 Lok Sabha seats.

Senior JD-U leader and minister in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government in Bihar Shyam Rajak on Thursday said his party was opposed to this bill and would continue opposing in the Rajya Sabha where the BJP doesn't have the required numbers to pass the bill.

"Triple Talaq is a kind of social issue which should be resolved through proper dialogue. We have opposed this Bill in the past, still oppose it and will continue opposing in future as well," said Rajak who was appointed industry minister in the recent cabinet expansion of the Nitish Kumar government.

"We will oppose the Narendra Modi government in the Parliament over the triple talaq bill. We don't have any change in our stand," the minister asserted.

The JD-U announced its stand hours after the Modi cabinet at its meeting held on Wednesday cleared a fresh bill to ban the existing practice on instant triple talaq. The bill is scheduled to be introduced in the budget session of the Parliament beginning Monday to replace the ordinance the Modi government had brought before going to polls.

The JD-U has already taken a different stand on the contentious issues being raised by the BJP, such as Article 370 which give special autonomous status to the northern Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, Ram temple and Uniform Civil Code. At its national executive meeting held on Sunday under the chairmanship of the chief minister Kumar, the JD-U reiterated its stand over these contentious issues once again.

"We are not in favour of imposing Uniform Civil Code while the issue of Ram temple should be resolved either through dialogue or court's order. Likewise, we oppose the removal of Article 370," the JD-U announced at the end of the meeting.

The two partners are headed for confrontation right since the BJP offered only one berth in the Modi cabinet as a symbolic representation which the JD-U rejected outright. The chief minister soon reacted by not

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Date:Jun 13, 2019
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