The Janata Dal United had announced its stance today, adding a sharp criticism of the BJP.
Nitish Kumar's decision to vote against the instant Triple Talaq bill, should it come up for passing in the Rajya Sabha, has drawn fire from ally BJP. While the party's central leaders are silent, its Rajya Sabha member and leader from Bihar, CP Thakur, made a jibe within hours of the JD(U) announcement.
Votebank politics is being played over Triple Talaq, Mr Thakur said. Then, without naming any party, he said, "Some political parties feel that if they support the Triple Talaq bill, then they would lose the votes of a particular community".
The Janata Dal United had announced its stance today, adding a sharp criticism of the BJP. But Nitish Kumar, whose state has 16 per cent Muslim population, had reservations about the bill for long.
The Chief Minister had even written to the state's Law Commission, seeking an opinion on whether the party can impose an agenda over a minority community.
Today, senior JD(U) leader Vashishta Narayan Singh told NDTV that the party would vote against the government if the bill is put to vote. "We feel the way this bill is being rushed, it was avoidable and we feel more consultation should have taken place," he said.
The government is already facing stiff challenge from the opposition over the bill, which has provisions for a three-year jail term for any Muslim man who divorces his wife instantly by uttering "Talaq" thrice.
The opposition parties are against the penal provision, arguing it cannot be introduced in a domestic issue that's essentially civil in nature. The opposition parties also argue that the proposed law will end up victimising Muslims. The government argues that the bill would stop victimization of the women, and give them equal rights.
The bill was passed in Lok Sabha last week, but it has been stalled in the Rajya Sabha by the opposition, which has majority in the upper house. The Janata Dal United has six members in the Rajya Sabha, and its siding with the opposition will put the BJP at a bigger disadvantage.