Hyderabad: Telangana Rashtra Samiti’s unusual stand of opposing the contentious triple talaq bill but walking out of the Rajya Sabha paving the way for the passage of the legislation has come under sharp criticism from the Muslim community in the state.
All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen President and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi, an ally of TRS, did not react immediately to the TRS decision to abstain from the voting along with some other smaller parties but he called the legislation an attack on “the identity of Muslim minority”.
Despite Owaisi’s silence, there were indications that the MIM was unhappy with the stand adopted by the TRS on this crucial issue and the party may come out with its displeasure.
The bill, already passed by the Lok Sabha, criminalises the act of instant divorce by a Muslim husband and provides for the imprisonment of three years for the offence.
Members of Congress, TRS and YSR Congress were among those who abstained from voting, helping the BJP in passage of the bill in the Rajya Sabha despite lacking the majority.
In his reaction to the development, Owaisi said that this was yet another attack on Muslims since the BJP came to power in 2014.
Rejecting the claim of the BJP that the bill was to protect the interest of Muslims women, he said, “This is in fact against the Muslim women. They will be isolated further”.
After mob lynching and police atrocities, the bill was another way to throw Muslims behind bars, he added. “We will fight against this injustice and infringement of our rights with full faith in constitution and Allah,” Owaisi said. He questioned how any husband who is jailed for three years can help his wife.
He declared that the All India Muslim Personal Law Board will challenge the constitutional validity of the law as it discriminates the people on the grounds of religion. While a Hindu husband is punished by one year imprisonment for the same act, a Muslim husband will be punished with three years imprisonment.
Meanwhile, TRS came under attack from other minority community leaders as well as the main opposition Congress party.
Senior Congress leader Mohammad Ali Shabbir said that by abstaining from voting the TRS in fact supported the bill.
“Secret allies like TRS have enabled the BJP to get the bill passed which it was not able to do for the last 19 months. Now it is proved beyond doubt that the TRS was unofficially a part of BJP led NDA,” he said.
Maulana Mohammad Ilyas, Imam of Hari Masjid said: “it clearly shows that Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao was sailing in two boats”.