Why AIADMK took U-turn on Triple Talaq bill?

The Triple Talaq Bill was passed in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday, with 99 MPs voting in support and 84 voting against the Bill. 
Outlawing the practice of instant divorce among Muslims, the Bill penalizes husbands who indulge in it with a jail term of three years.

Thougg the AIADMK made a show of opposing the Bill in the House, the walk-out staged by MPs of the party ensured that the Bill failed to get enough support for referral to a select committee.

According to reports, AIADMK’s volte-face in Parliament on Triple Talaq bill not just exposes the cold war between Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and his deputy O Panneerselvam, but also the party’s desperation to win over Muslim votes in the August 5 elections to Vellore Lok Sabha seat.

While the party’s lone member in Lok Sabha, P Ravindranath, the of Panneerselvam, supported the bill in the Lower House and even billed it as “historic”, the AIADMK’s floor leader in Rajya Sabha, A Navaneethakrishnan, took a U-turn on Tuesday by opposing it.

Theni MP Raveendranath Kumar said that this was an effort by the Prime Minister to ‘give equal power to women in our society and give them opportunity to reach the highest position in social arena.’

“But right now, this Bill seeks to provide equal rights to all women irrespective of their religion. I, therefore, want to know whether they [the Opposition] accept this piece of legislation or not. Finally, I would say that given the right opportunities, women will achieve great successes and reach heights. Social practices like these should not be forced on them as they become impediments to their development.” he said.

The Vellore constituency is said to have around 2.5 lakh Muslim and 1.6 lakh Christian voters. Also, Scheduled Castes account for around 22% of the 14.32-lakh electors. At least a third of Christians may be SCs.