Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday urged the Muslim community not to politicise triple talaq and to have an open mind about the practise. Speaking at the Basava Convention in New Delhi, Modi said, “I request the Muslim community, don’t look at this issue through a political lens, don’t let it go that route.”

He also called upon the reformers of the community to fight for the rights of Muslim women. “Muslim reformers will come forward some day and fight against the suffering of Muslim daughters to find a way forward,” he added.

This is the second time Modi has recently spoken about triple talaq. Earlier this month, he had raised the topic during BJP’s national executive meeting in Odisha, according to NDTV. There, he had said stressed that “injustice should not be done to Muslim women”.

The prime minister’s comments come after the Supreme Court had decided that a five-judge Constitution bench would rule on the constitutional validity of triple talaq. In March, the court had said it would hear the matter every day between May 11 to May 19. But the top court had refused to club hearings on the Uniform Civil Code with those on Muslim personal laws, saying they were two separate subjects.

Meanwhile, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board had recently asserted that it had the “constitutional” right to implement Muslim personal law, including triple talaq. The law board’s comments came after the Centre had urged the Supreme Court to declare the Islamic practices of triple talaq, nikah halala and polygamy inconsistent with Muslim women’s fundamental right to life and dignity. The Centre had taken an official stand against triple talaq and polygamy for the first time on October 7 last year, telling the top court that gender equality was non-negotiable.

The Congress on Saturday reacted to Modi’s comments, calling them “insignificant”. Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said Modi had made the remarks to win votes ahead of the upcoming Karnataka Assembly elections. The BJP strongly has supported Modi, saying banning triple talaq was the “benchmark for women’s rights in terms of constitutional rights of equality”.