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Triple Talaq Bill not a prestige issue for govt, seeks justice for Muslim women: BJP

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NEW DELHI: The ruling BJP on Monday said that the controversial Triple Talaq Bill, which is facing stiff resistance from several quarters, is meant to seek justice for thousands of Indian Muslim women and the government is determined to push hard for its clearance in the Parliament.

While stating that the Triple Talaq Bill, which is listed in Rajya Sabha, is not a question of government’s reputation, Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar urged all parties to support the bill in the Upper House.

”Triple Talaq Bill is listed in Rajya Sabha, it’s not a question of government’s reputation. The Bill is meant to get justice for women, so everyone should support it. We all must help in getting the Bill passed, ” Tomar told ANI.

 

In view of stiff resistance to the Triple Talaq Bill, the Narendra Modi government had last week said that it was receptive about any “constructive suggestions” by the Opposition on the controversial bill.

The response came from Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad when questioned as to why the NDA government was not accepting the Opposition demand to refer the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2018 to a Select Committee of Parliament for scrutiny.

“Our decision will be decided on the floor of the House when I speak there. We have already improved a lot of things. A Select Committee is important, but the plight of victim women is equally important. I would appeal to the MPs to listen to their plight,” Prasad said.

“We have no ego in…But the thing is that whatever is needed to be improved has been done. If they (Opposition) have a constructive suggestion, they can give us. We are open to considering them. But they did not give any suggestion in the Lok Sabha,” he added.

During the discussion on the Bill in Lok Sabha, the Opposition, and even the fence sitters such as the AIADMK and BJD, unanimously demanded that the Bill be referred to a joint committee for scrutiny.

The government did not yield to the demand and got the Bill passed after a four-hour debate.

When the Bill came up for discussion and passage in Rajya Sabha on December 31, the Opposition pressed for voting on the Bill whether it should be sent to a select committee of the House.

The voting could not take place due to din and subsequent adjournment.

PM Narendra Modi had recently said that Triple Talaq is a matter of gender equality while referring to a question on the entry of women in Kerala’s Sabarimala temple, which, he said, was related to age-old tradition.

Talking to ANI, Prime Minister tried to clear the air on BJP`s apparent contradiction in its stand on the controversial Triple Talaq Ordinance and the ban on entry of women between the age group of (10-50 years) in the Sabarimala Temple by saying the Ordinance against Triple Talaq was brought keeping in mind gender equality and social justice and it should not be seen as interference in religious issues.

“Triple Talaq Ordinance was brought after Supreme Court verdict. We have said in our BJP manifesto that a solution would be found to this issue under the Constitution,” Prime Minister Modi said.

“Most Islamic countries have banned Triple Talaq. So it is not a matter of religion or faith. Even in Pakistan, Triple Talaq is banned. So it is an issue of gender equality, a matter of social justice. It is not an issue of faith. So keep the two separate,” the PM said.

Amid a walkout by some opposition parties, the Triple Talaq Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha with the support of 245 votes against 11 on December 27, 2018.

The Triple Talaq Bill makes the practice of instant divorce among Muslims a criminal offence with a provision of three-year jail term for the erring husband.


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National

Naveen Patnaik-led BJD sweeps Odisha assembly polls

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Mumbai: Naveen Patnaik-led Biju Janata Dal (BJD) clinches a clean sweep in the Odisha assembly elections. However, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has tried to increase the vote margin than the previous elections.

The BJD has secured 94 seats. While the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has joined the race with 28 seats, the Indian National Congress (INC) managed to attain 12 seats and the Communist Party of India, Marxist (CPM) with 1 seat.

The counting of votes began at 8 am. The Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in Odisha took place simultaneously in four phases on April 11, 18, 23 and 29.

 

In 2014 Odisha assembly election, the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) had won 117 seats out of the total 147. The Congress had won 16 seats while the BJP, on the other hand, 10 of the 147 assembly seats.

An Odisha-centric exit poll jointly done by Sambad, the most circulated regional daily in the state, and Kanak News, its group-owned TV channel, gives BJD a massive lead over its closest rival Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Sampling a survey of over 100,000 respondents, the exit poll forecasts BJD winning 85-95 of the 147 Assembly seats, where outcomes were polled till this report was filed. The BJP is seen contending with a distant second spot with 25-34 seats, while for the Congress, the poll trend is a reprisal of its mortifying electoral performance in 2014. Congress party’s presence is seen diminishing to 12-15 seats.

A collective prediction of Kanak News and News18 Odia for the Odisha Assembly Election 2019 projects BJD’s win. On the other hand, the BJP may add more to its 2014 tally by 16 seats, which comes up to 26 of the 147-seat assembly. Congress, on the other hand, may manage to win only 12 seats, a drop of four seats less than what it had won in the 2014 polls. The other parties will collectively win 24 seats in Odisha.

Among the main candidates in Odisha, Naveen Patnaik contested in two seats – Hinjili in Ganjam district and Bijepur in Bargarh. Senior Congress leader Narasingha Mishra contested from Bolangir assembly seat, while BJP’s legislature party leader KV Singhdeo is contested from Patnagarh.

Before the gradual rise of Biju Janata Dal (BJD) – formed by Biju Patnaik and his son Naveen Patnaik, the political arena was dominated by the Congress.

The upsurge of Congress party in the state as the only secular, progressive force in Odisha was countered by the BJD, which has managed to gain a majority for the last three consecutive terms. The BJP has also made its presence felt in the state, and is considered an important political party in Odisha.

The regional parties apart from BJD in the state are Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), All India Trinamool Congress (AITC), Janata Dal(United), Lok Jan Shakti Party (LJP), Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP), Samajwadi Party (SP).

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Communist Party of India (CPI), Communist Party of India, Marxist (CPM), Indian National Congress (INC) and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) are the national parties in Odisha at present.?

Odisha, earlier known as Orissa, has a rich and varied political tradition. From the ancient times, the state has remained politically active. However, Odisha’s political prominence was heightened after it was granted complete statehood in 1950. Odisha has a 147-member strong Vidhan Sabha.

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‘Was expected, it is people’s victory,’ says Jaganmohan Reddy

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Amaravati: With his YSR Congress heading for a landslide victory in the Assembly and Lok Sabha elections in Andhra Pradesh, party president Y S Jaganmohan Reddy Thursday termed it as people’s victory.

He also said the YSRC’s victory was expected. “I sincerely thank the people who overwhelmingly voted for YSRC and blessed it. I also thank them for exercising their franchise in large numbers and enhanced the value of democracy,” Jaganmohan Reddy said in a Facebook post.

“I will live up to the expectations of the people,” he promised.

 

According to the trends, YSRC is leading in over 150 seats of the total 175 in the State.

The party is leading in 23 Lok Sabha seats, while the TDP in two.

Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao called Reddy over phone and congratulated him over the YSRC’s thumping win in the general elections. Wishing Reddy all the best, Rao hoped he would lead Andhra Pradesh further on the path of progress.

Later, talking to the media at his residence here, the YSRC chief congratulated Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the BJP’s stupendous performance in the Lok Sabha polls.

Reddy asserted that his fight for securing special category status for Andhra Pradesh would continue. He declined to speak about Congress president Rahul Gandhi.

Meanwhile, the YSRC Legislature Party will meet here on May 25 to formally elect Jaganmohan Reddy as its leader, party sources said. The sources said Reddy will take oath as Chief Minister in the temple-town of Tirupati on May 30.

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National

BJP loses Parrikar’s Panaji Assembly seat to Congress

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Panaji: Congress’ Atanasio Monserratte on Thursday wrested Panaji Assembly seat, held by the late chief minister Manohar Parrikar, from the BJP and with a margin of over 1,775 votes in the by-poll held simultaneously with the Lok Sabha elections.

The Panaji Assembly seat became vacant after the demise of former Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar, who held the seat for nearly two-and-a-half decades since 1994.

The BJP had fielded Siddharth Kunkolienkar to retain the seat.

 

Goa Assembly has a strength of 40 members out of which BJP currently has 12 legislators and enjoys the support of legislators from Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP), Vijay Sardesai of the Goa Forward Party (GFP) and three independents. GFP and MGP each have three MLAs.

Congress, on the other hand, has 15 MLAs in the house till now.

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