Lucknow: The Supreme Court order on the triple talaq issue on Thursday has not come at a good time for the Bhartiya Janta Party. The party would have been happier if it had come few days before the second phase of election in Uttar Pradesh which ended on Wednesday.
In the second phase as many as 67 constituencies spread over eleven districts went to polls. Most of them had Muslim population ranging from 30 to 50 per cent. Two districts, Rampur and Moradabad, had more than 50 per cent Muslim population. The judgement before the polls might have united most of the orthodox minority community members against the party as the issue was raised by it and sent to the law ministry for examination a few months before the assembly elections.
The polarisation of Muslims votes might have drawn non-Jatav Dalits and non-Yadav backward castes towards the BJP, in addition to non-orthodox Muslim youths and Muslim women who have been victims of this old religious practice. All this would have gone in favour of the party and boosted the morale of its workers.
In the wake of these developments it would have been an advantage BJP which would have faced elections in the left-out phases-- three, four, five, six and seven.
In the first two phases elections have been held in as many as 140 constituencies out of the total 403.Most of these had sizeable Muslim population. The party had done poorly on these seats in the previous assembly elections and had much leeway to cover.
What has happened , has happened. Now, the party is likely to cash on it in five other phases. The third phase polling will take place on next Sunday which is as significant for the party. The reason is that out of the total 67 constituencies where polling will be held more than 50 seats were won by its rival, the Samajwadi Party. The lotus had bloomed on only five seats.
Much will, however, depend on other parties. If these parties rake up the issue, it will be easy for the saffron brigade to make it a talking-point and win over the anti-talaq voters.
The Supreme Court would like to deliver its final verdict on the issue before August, before the present chief justice J S Khehar retires. Notices have been sent to all the parties concerned including the Muslim Peronal Law Board asking them to reply before the case is taken up on May 11.
The chief justice of India has attached top priority to it in view of its importance and nation-wide interest. The case will be heard during the summer vacation in May and June next.
The apex court will look at it mainly from three angles including the one, whether it violates the right of life and freedom of women.