Kolkata, Jan 1: It's not just superstar Rajinikanth who has joined politics before 2017 came to an end on Sunday.
Although not as popular as the 67-year-old veteran actor, who has formally joined politics and is likely to float his own political party soon, one of the petitioners in the triple talaq case, Ishrat Jahan, has entered the political arena by joining the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in West Bengal.
The news was revealed by BJP's West Bengal unit general secretary Sayantan Basu.
"Ishrat Jahan has joined the BJP at our Howrah office on Saturday," Basu told PTI.
Sources said Ishrat was felicitated by the Howrah BJP unit on Saturday and inducted into the party. Basu said a state-level programme to felicitate her was yet to be organised.
Ishrat was one of the five petitioners in the triple talaq case. Her husband had divorced her over the phone from Dubai in 2014 by uttering the word "talaq" thrice.
The controversial Islamic practice was struck down by the Supreme Court on August 22. Recently, the Lok Sabha has passed the triple talaq bill. Now, the bill has to be passed by the Upper House of Parliament, Rajya Sabha, to become a law.
The passage of the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill will make the practice of triple talaq criminal.
West Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh, who is touring various districts in the state, said he had also come to know from party sources that Ishrat had joined the BJP in Howrah.
However, Ishrat is yet to issue any official statement in this regard.
Political experts say Ishrat joining the BJP will definitely help the party in West Bengal where it is trying hard to emerge as a dominant force. Experts add that with Ishrat coming to the BJP fold, the saffron party will be able to win the vote and trust of Muslim women in the state as well as the country.
Ishrat could be the BJP's Muslim mascot in West Bengal, where the party is regularly challenging the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) after the Mamata Banerjee government came to power in the state after winning the Assembly elections in 2016.
Along with several Muslim women, who have been fighting for long to end the practice of triple talaq, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the ruling BJP are given most of the credit for the passage of the triple talaq bill in the Lok Sabha recently.