The Congress and the Janata Dal (United) on Thursday said they would oppose the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2019, or the triple talaq bill, in Parliament, IANS reported. The monsoon session of Parliament begins on June 17.

The parties announced their decisions a day after the Cabinet approved the bill, replacing the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Second Ordinance, 2019. The bill proposes to declare the practice of triple talaq void and illegal. It also prescribes a penalty of imprisonment up to three years for the offence, and provides for subsistence allowance to married Muslim women and their children.

Rajya Sabha member and Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said the party had raised some “fundamental points” on the triple talaq bill. “The government has agreed on many points,” Singhvi said. “A lot of time would have been saved if the government had agreed on our points earlier. Still one or two points are left...and debates are required on those points and we shall oppose it [bill].”

The last time the bill came up in Parliament, the Opposition had demanded that it be sent to a select joint parliamentary committee before being passed into law. The government had rejected the proposal. The Congress has claimed that the government is using the bill as a tool to imprison Muslim men and create an atmosphere of confrontation between Muslim men and women.

The Janata Dal (United), a member of the National Democratic Alliance in Bihar, also said it would not support the Centre on the triple talaq in the Rajya Sabha.

Bihar minister Shayam Razak said the party was opposed to the bill and “will continue to stand against it”. Razak said triple talaq was a matter of social concern and it should be resolved by society. Razak pointed out that the Janata Dal (United) had earlier voted against the triple talaq bill in the Rajya Sabha.

In January, Janata Dal (United) chief and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had said that dialogue, and not interference, was the way forward on the matter.