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Pradeep Singh

Bhubaneswar: Even though the BJP (in Parliament) urged that the 'Triple Talaq Bill' should not be seen through a political prism or vote bank politics because it aims at ensuring gender dignity, justice and equality, the Congress on Wednesday slammed the ruling-BJD for extending support to the NDA constituents.

Raising the issue in Odisha Assembly today, Congress MLA Tara Prasad Bahinipati said that while some of the allies of the BJP like JD (U) even opposed the Bill, the non-aligned BJD subserviently extended support to the legislation.

"The BJD had been claiming that it follows an equidistant policy but it was exposed yeaterday when the party extended its support to the BJP. Naveen babu's govt was first exposed when it supported an NDA candidate for Rajya Sabha seat from Odisha. The Chief Minister should clarify whether BJD and BJP have political ties," said Bahinipati.

He further alleged that Naveen Patnaik is playing a 'double standard' game in Odisha with two totally different, pre and post-election, faces. "People of Odisha are not happy with such a game of Naveen babu," he added.

Responding to the allegations, deputy leader of the BJP in the State Assembly, Bishnu Sethi said, "When the BJP-BJD alliance split in 2009, we had moved no confidence motion against the BJD government. Why did the Congress then stay absent from the House? The life that the Congress gave to the BJD then, is still continuing."

Hinting at the Congress being plagued by political amnesia, Sethi said that the Congress should introspect first before pointing fingers at the BJP as many leaders of the party (Congress) are now in the BJD as elected representatives and ministers.

Accusing the Congress for the rise of the BJP in Odisha, BJD Chief Whip Pramila Mallick said, "Did the Congress oppose the BJP on Triple Talaq issue? Had they opposed, their question to us on supporting the BJP would have held ground. In Odisha, the BJP is getting all the Congress votes; in Patkura the same thing happened."

She further alleged that the Congress has secret political understandigs with the BJP. "When a Bill concerning the security and dignity of Muslim women was introduced, we didn't find any problem in supporting it," she added.

The "Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill 2019" or the Triple Talaq Bill was passed in Parliament on Tuesday criminalising the practice. In Rajya Sabha, the Bill was passed with 99 'yes' and 84 'no' votes while the Lok Sabha had on July 25 passed the same with 303 'yes' against 82 'no' votes.

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