In a major announcement, Mahila Congress president Sushmita Dev on Thursday said that the party would scrap the ‘triple talaq’ law if it is voted to power in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

Speaking in the presence of Congress President Rahul Gandhi at the AICC minority department national convention in Delhi, Dev said, “I promise you that Congress will form the government in 2019 and we will repeal this triple talaq law. This is a promise,”

She said the law was not for the empowerment of women but a weapon used by the BJP to harass Muslim men.

Meanwhile, the BJP hit back at the Congress saying their stand was nothing but “minority appeasement”.

They have no regard for the Supreme Court,” said BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra.

The Lok Sabha on December 27 passed the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2018, that makes instant triple talaq or talaq-e-biddat a criminal offence, with a jail term of up to three years with a fine.

The offence will be cognizable if information relating to the offence is given by the married woman against whom talaq has been pronounced or any person related to her by blood or marriage.

The proposed law would be applicable to the entire country, except in Jammu and Kashmir.

The Congress has been opposing the bill and had said that it will not allow its passage in its present form in Rajya Sabha.

About 10 opposition parties including the Congress had come out openly against the bill when it was introduced in the Lok Sabha.

The Congress had earlier accused the NDA government of getting the triple talaq bill passed in haste in the Lok Sabha keeping in mind the 2019 general elections.

Triple talaq is verbal divorce practised by a section in the Muslim community to give instant divorce to their wives by saying the word ‘talaq’ three times.

The Supreme Court had in August 2017 declared “triple talaq” unconstitutional and in violation of Article 14 of the Indian Constitution, which provides for equality before the law and directed the government to enact a law on the issue.