As the Modi government prepares to table the much debated Triple Talaq Bill in Rajya Sabha on the last day of Monsoon Session on Friday, the Congress launched a protest against the Modi government demanding answers from it over the alleged scam in Rafale fighter jet deal with France. Opposition leaders including UPA chairperson and former Congress president Sonia Gandhi raised slogans against the government outside Parliament. Sonia Gandhi said that her party's stand over Triple Talaq Bill is "absolutely clear" and that she won't add anything to it.
Earlier in the morning, Congress sought advise from its legal experts to chart out its strategy on the floor of the Upper House. Sources said the Congress leadership discussed the Triple Talaq issue with in-house senior lawyers - Kapil Sibal and Abhishek Singhvi. The party is also in touch with other Opposition parties to gauge their mood.
Singhvi has described the government's move to push the bill for clearance on the last day of Monsoon Session as just political posturing and gave ample hints that it won't be easy for the government to get the bill pass the Rajya Sabha test. The Congress is likely to demand the bill to be presented in the next session or it be sent to a select committee of Parliament.
"We welcome the amendments made in the bill, but more changes are needed. Why the government is in so much hurry to get the Rajya Sabha's approval on the last day of this session. How can we make our decision without the reading the bill," Singhvi told IndiaTV.
Meanwhile, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has urged the Congress to support the amended Triple Talaq Bill. Prasad said the bill seeks justice for crores of women.
Highlights of what happened through out the day:
02:52 pm: The Triple Talaq Bill can not be tabled in the House as there is lack of consensus between the Government and the Opposition over it, Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu announces.
02:30 pm: Rajya Sabha convenes after break, Congress continues to demand Rafale debate.
01:30 pm: BJP president calls meeting of top ministers to discuss the Triple Talaq issue. Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, Piyush Goyal, Dharmendra Pradhan, Vijay Goel attend the meeting. The government trying to table the bill in Rajya Sabha at 2.30 pm after proceedings resume.
12:31 pm: Sources say the Government has decided to send a clear message to the Opposition, if they are going to block the Triple Talaq Bill and also not open to extend the Parliament session then it is left with no option but to issue an ordinance prior to Winter Session.
12:03 pm: Rajya Sabha adjourned til 2:30 pm as Opposition continues to raise Rafale deal issue.
11:45 am: Rajya Sabha adjourned till 12:00 pm amid uproar by Opposition over.
11:27 am: Congress demands to constitute a Joint Parliamentary Committee to look into the Rafale deal.
11:25 am: Congress demands discussion on Rafale deal under Rule 267. Deputy Chairman Harivansh turns down the demand saying that only Chairman can permit for discussion under Rule 267.
11:05 am: Our party's position is absolutely clear on this, I will not say anything on this further, says Sonia Gandhi
Delhi: Congress, CPI, RJD and AAP hold protest outside Parliament over Rafale deal issue pic.twitter.com/hNnnM2ZB0D— ANI (@ANI) August 10, 2018
10:31 am: Women treated unfairly in all communities, not just Muslims, even Hindus, Christians, Sikhs. In every society, there is male domination. Even Shree Ram Chandraji once left Sitaji doubting her. Change is needed in the society as a whole, says Congress leader Hussain Dalwai.
10:20 am: Triple Talaq is a social evil which needs to be eliminated. The bill seeks to safeguard the rights of women. I hope the Opposition will allow the bill to get through Rajya Sabha. The government has been serious about the matter and it's the Opposition which has been running away from discussion in Parliament, says BJP's Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi
10:10 am: Home Minister Rajnath Singh, BJP president Amit Shah, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and other BJP MPs and leaders are in a meeting Parliament to discuss the party's strategy in Rajya Sabha over Triple Talaq Bill.
If the bill is cleared by the upper house, it will have to go back to Lok Sabha for approval of the amendments. While the proposed law will remain 'non-bailable', the accused can approach a magistrate even before trial to seek bail.
Under a non-bailable law, bail cannot be granted by police at the police station itself.
Prasad said a provision has been added to allow the magistrate to grant bail "after hearing the wife".
"But the offence of instant triple talaq under the proposed law remains non-bailable," he clarified.
Sources later said the magistrate would ensure that bail is granted only after the husband agrees to grant compensation to the wife as provided in the bill. The quantum of compensation will be decided by the magistrate, as per the bill.
WATCH: Will Triple Talaq Bill get through Opposition hurdle in Rajya Sabha?