NEW DELHI - India's main opposition Congress party said on Thursday (Feb 7) it would scrap a decree passed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government prescribing jail terms for Muslim men seeking an instant divorce if the party wins an election due by May.
Modi's Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in January issued an executive order making the practice - which allows Muslim men to divorce their wives by saying the Arabic word "talaq", or "divorce", three times - an offence punishable with up to three years in jail.
The order was issued after a Bill that had sought to make the practice a non-bailable offence faced resistance from Congress and some other parties in the Upper House of Parliament despite being approved by the Lower House late last year.
Modi has said the action is necessary to empower women, but Congress said it unfairly punished Muslim men.
"We oppose it because it is another weapon devised by Mr Narendra Modi to imprison Muslim men or drag them to police stations," Sushmita Dev, president of the women's wing of Congress, said in a speech.