Image for representational use only. Image Courtesy : NDTV
New Delhi: Two contentious Bills - the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill and the Triple Talaq Bill -- lapsed in Rajya Sabha after the House was adjourned sine die on Wednesday, the last day of the Budget session. Both the Bills, passed by the Lok Sabha, saw a massive Opposition uproar in the House, with even some ruling BJP allies opposing them.
As per the Legislative Procedure in the Rajya Sabha, where the combined Opposition has a strong presence, a Bill passed by the Lok Sabha and pending in the Upper House lapses once the Lok Sabha is dissolved.
The lapsing of the Citizenship Bill comes at a time when the entire North-Eastern region is seeing widespread protests, including by some Bharatiya Janata Party allies, such as Asom Gana Parishad that has parted ways with it.
Two BJP chief ministers of the Northeast -- Arunachal Pradesh's Pema Khandu and Manipur's N Biren Dingh -- have also voiced their opposition to the contentious Bill.
Just two days ago, noted Assamese singer Bhupen Hazarika’s son, Tej, has created a flutter by expressing his opposition to the BJP’s push for Citizenship Bill, and had announced that he may have to return the prestigious Bharat Ratna award conferred upon his late father by the BJP government at the Centre. Incidentally, Hazarika once fought elections on a BJP ticket.
Also Read : Citizenship Bill: Why Protests Have Spread Across Northeast
Interestingly, the Bill was brought into the Rajya Sabha on the last day of the Budget session, the last session before the end of the tenure of the Narendra Modi government.
The redrafted Bill, which seeks to provide Indian citizenship to persecuted non-Muslim minorities from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan, was cleared by the Union Cabinet on January 7 this year.
Ever since then, protests against the Bill have been spreading like wild fire in the North East, with shutdowns in Assam, Nagaland, Mizoram among others.
Also Read : Citizenship Bill: BJP’s Grand Strategy to Woo Voters in West Bengal?
The Triple Talaq Bill, too, had raised quite an uproar, with 12 Opposition parties asking for it being sent to the Select Committee. Among its strongest opponents was Telugu Desam Party, then an ally of the BJP. Later, TDP, too, parted ways with the ruling BJP.
Some women organisations, while opposing the practice of Triple Talaq, had serious reservations over the ‘criminality’ clause in the Bill, decrying the BJP’s “communal agenda” and flawed approach to Muslim women’s rights.
On Wednesday, Rajya Sabha was adjourned sine die after repeated adjournments following an uproar over on the Rafale deal, among other issues.