Modi asks if Congress respects the rights of Muslim women

Prime Minister accuses the Congress and other Opposition parties of thwarting the Triple Talaq Bill.

Raking up the controversy over Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s alleged remarks that the “Congress is a party of Muslims”, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday asked if the Congress had space for Muslim women, or if it only represented the men of the minority community.

The PM accused the Congress and other Opposition parties of thwarting the Triple Talaq Bill in Parliament, saying that they want the custom to continue so that the lives of Muslim women become hell.

“I want to ask the namdaar of the Congress party – Congress is a party of Muslims, apko theek lage, apko Mubarak – but tell us is this party of Muslims only for men or does it have space for women? Does it have any space for dignity, honour and rights of Muslim women?” Mr. Modi asked at a rally in Azamgarh.

He made the comments while laying the foundation stone of the 340km-long Purvanchal Expressway, which will connect the State capital Lucknow to the eastern fringes of Uttar Pradesh.

The BJP, led by Union Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, had on Friday accused the Congress of creating a partition-like situation in the country on communal lines after it highlighted a report in an Urdu daily according to which, while meeting a group of intellectual of the minority community, Mr. Gandhi had said that the Congress was a party of Muslims.

The Congress, however, rejected the BJP’s charge and while clarifying that the party belonged to 132 crore Indians, accused the BJP of trying to polarize the electorate before the 2019 Lok Sabha election.

Mr. Modi said he was not at all surprised by the discussion triggered by Mr. Gandhi’s alleged comments, which he said he read in a newspaper. “I am not surprised because during the previous government, the then PM Manmohan Singhji had himself said that Muslims had the first claim on the natural resources of the country,” he said.

Mr. Modi said that the stand of the Opposition parties on the issue of Triple Talaq had exposed them. “These parties together, they are putting the lives of Muslim women in more difficulty” said Mr. Modi.

The PM promised to provide Muslim women “mukti” from Triple Talaq and said he would try to convince the other parties in the upcoming session of Parliament, while suggesting them to interact with the victims of Triple Talaq and Halala.

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