The MIM is the Telangana Rashtra Samiti’s ally in Telangana. Yet when it came to supporting Asaduddin Owaisi on Triple Talaq bill, an issue the Hyderabad MP argued and fought passionately on, the TRS looked the other way. It abstained from the vote in the Rajya Sabha where its numbers along with others could have made a difference and sent the Bill to a select committee.
Incidentally, the Telugu Desam, a bitter foe of the TRS and the BJP too abstained from voting on the Bill. With four MPs of the TDP crossing over to the BJP in June, the party is left with just two MPs in the Upper House. But the fact that even they stayed away, suggests a rethink on Chandrababu Naidu’s part on ties with the BJP.
Owaisi had slammed the Bill calling it a continuation of attacks on Muslim identity and citizenship since 2014. On Twitter, he called it anti-Muslim women. Yet for reasons unknown, he could not convince his ally back home to lend him support where it mattered most.
This is the second time in this session that the TRS which has six MPs in the Rajya Sabha has helped the NDA in passing contentious bills. When the amendment to the RTI Act was introduced, the TRS did a U-turn and changed its earlier position that it should be sent to a select committee.
The TRS move is strange because the BJP is moving gears to emerge as the prinicipal opposition in Telangana.
It also puts the TRS relations with the MIM under strain. Owaisi had campaigned for the TRS during the general elections in April in select constituencies. It is to be noted that earlier this month, Owaisi’s younger brother Akbaruddin Owaisi had bitterly criticised the BJP and the RSS at a public meeting in Karimnagar.