The ongoing year 2023 is departing to herald the arrival of the new year 2024 when general elections will be held.
Prior to this, the people across India may witness a communal divide on the issue of rules and regulations connected with the old Waqf.
Already, Harnath Singh Yadav, BJP MP, who hails from the land of Mulayam Singh Yadav - Mainpuri,(UP), known for Sarus Crane, the elegant bird, has introduced private members’ bill seeking to repeal the Waqf Act, 1995.
On December 9, the bill was introduced in the Rajya Sabha after a division of votes as Opposition members protested its introduction.
The Waqf Repeal Bill, 2022 was moved for introduction by Yadav, who said Waqf is an outfit that does not exist anywhere in the world and should not have a place in a “secular” country such as India.
As per Waqf act, a Muslim can secure his property for perpetuity for the support of his family, children and descendants, provided that he makes a provision in such a manner that the ultimate benefits go to a charitable object of a permanent nature, made either expressly or impliedly.
The private bill introduced by BJP MP Yadav seeks to eliminate this and thereby no Muslim can secure his/ her property for perpetuity for the support of his family, children and descendants for “charitable reason”.
Records of the Rajya Sabha show that as soon as Yadav rose to introduce the bill, members from friendly eco system allies such as the Congress, TMC, DMK, CPI, CPI (M), and RJD protested.
The sharp differences over the introduction led to a division of votes, and the bill was introduced after 53 members voted in favour and 32 opposed the move.
Several members were not present in the House for voting; some of them later said they were away because the House met half an hour ahead of the usual time.
The Rajya Sabha resumed at 2.30 pm but the Chairman had decided that it will now resume at 2pm, the same time as the Lok Sabha.
Pushing for the repeal of the Act, which was introduced in 1954 to regulate and declare Waqf properties, Yadav said the provisions of the Act lead to friction and hatred in society, and are in contravention to the tenets of unity and secularism.
He said the unconstitutional provisions of the Act allow the board to take over properties that are owned by individuals, religious bodies and government and does not allow them to seek redressal in court.
Private members’ bills are legislation proposed by MPs other than a minister. Lawmakers are allotted time to introduce their bills every Friday.
In fact, Waqf Bill which turned into Act, 1995 was also introduced as private bill.This is co-incidence, if not politics on communal grounds.
While most of the private bills fail to get introduced, data show only a handful of private member bills have become laws.