Union Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Tuesday said that those opposing the triple talaq bill are the ones who have used Muslims as their vote bank."Some people are unable to digest large scale social and economic reforms initiated by the Narendra Modi government because these people treated the minorities, especially Muslims, as their vote bank," he told media persons here."These people are also giving baseless logic on the issue of triple talaq and they want this social evil to continue. But the Modi government is working without any pressure to ensure constitutional rights of women and their development with dignity," he added.The Minister also defended his government's decision to allow women to proceed on Haj without 'mehram' (male guardian) in a group of four from this year.
Naqvi said that although the Saudi Arabia government allowed women above 45 years of age to perform Haj without a mehram but the earlier governments did not take any step to lift this "self-imposed" restriction.He said that a committee formed by the Minority Affairs Ministry and headed by retired IAS Afzal Amanullah to prepare the new Haj policy pointed out this issue and recommended that when Saudi government's rules permit, and several Muslim countries too allow their 45-plus aged women to perform Haj without a mehram, why can't this be done by India."We examined this whole issue, talked to the Saudi authorities and accordingly lifted this ban on November 12 this year," Naqvi said.More than 1,300 women from across the country have applied to go for Haj without mehram this year and all of them would be able to go for the pilgrimage as the government has exempted them from the lucky draw.