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Private Bill to Abolish Waqf Act Accepted for Discussion

– Shakilur Rahman

New Delhi, Dec. 10: Opposition members opposed a private bill introduced by BJP Rajya Sabha member Harnath Singh Yadav to abolish the Waqf Act 1995. This will be discussed further.

While presenting this bill on Friday, Mr. Yadav said, Waqf Act 1995 is contrary to democracy. This is not in accordance with the legal systems of the country, hence it should be abolished in the interest of the country. However, all opposition parties, including Congress, TMC, DMK, CPI, CPI (M), and RJD opposed the bill vehemently and accused BJP of creating polarization and communal division.

Congress member Jairam Ramesh demanded immediate voting on this, but Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar cited the rules and gave a chance to the members opposing the bill to present their views.

During the introductory stage, Elamaram Kareem of CPI(M) voiced opposition, highlighting the role of the Waqf Board in managing religious sites and orphanages across the country. Kareem expressed concerns that tampering with such a sensitive issue could lead to communal division among the people, and advocated for the rejection of the bill.

The result of the voting on the bill was in support of the bill. Fifty-three votes were cast in favor of accepting the bill and 32 against it. During this period there was a heated argument between Jagdeep Dhankhar and Jairam Ramesh.

According to ANI, BJP member Yadav said in the state assembly that under Article 44 of the Constitution, the government has been asked to implement Uniform Code of Conduct for all citizens.

Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) MP Abdul Wahab has written to Rajya Sabha Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar urging him not to allow the introduction of the Wakf Repeal Bill, a Private Member’s Bill moved by BJP MP Harnath Singh Yadav. The Bill, however, was not introduced on Friday as the House got adjourned without taking up any business as Opposition members protested over the Manipur violence.

In his letter to Mr. Dhankhar, Mr. Wahab said the objective of the Bill is to repeal the Wakf Act.

“The intention of Mr. Yadav in introducing such a Bill is an attempt to intervene in the faith of the Muslim community and establish the fact of his animosity and hatred against the Muslim community and their belief,” Mr. Wahab’s letter said.

The Bill was also listed for introduction during the Budget Session but was not tabled as the House witnessed protests over the Hindenburg report on Adani Ltd.

Mr. Wahab said the Wakf Board was established to look over the properties, and the income generated by them should be used for charitable and Islamic purposes, and the purpose for creating the board was to minimise the government’s interference in matters involving properties related to the Muslim community.

“A Bill to repeal such a crucial practice of faith among the Muslim community is against the interest of the Muslim community and a violation of constitutional rights offered,” Mr. Wahab said.

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