Abstaining from vote sends ‘negative’ message from India on LGBT issue: RJD

New Delhi : The Rashtriya Janata Dal on Friday criticised the NDA government’s move to abstain from voting in the UN Human Rights Council to appoint an independent investigator to help protect the rights of homosexuals and transgenders worldwide, saying that it would send a ‘negative’ message from India on a ‘progressive issue’

“This is very unfortunate and saddening. We have accomplished so much in the area of LGBT rights and there is also a consensus on it. By abstaining we are sending across a very negative message on a progressive issue. There is no way you can remain indifferent towards these issues,” RJD spokesperson Manoj Jha told ANI

Earlier, the LGBT community members had expressed disappointment over the government’s move and demanded Prime Minister Narendra Modi to break his silence and speak about “inclusive society”.

Throwing light on the fact that the Private Member Bill brought by Congress leader Shashi Tharoor was unanimously rejected by the Parliament, Transgender activist Akkai Padmashali said it reflected ‘intolerance’ on the government’s part.

After a heated debate lasting almost four hours, the 47-member state forum overcame strong objections by Saudi Arabia and Muslim countries to adopt a Western-backed resolution by a vote of 23 states in favour and 18 against with six abstentions.

The United States and major European countries backed the resolution, while China, Russia and 16 African and predominantly Muslim states rejected it. India, South Africa and the Philippines were among the abstainers. (ANI)