Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday took an about-turn after his party supported the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) 2019 in the Lok Sabha.
Attacking his former ally in Maharashtra, BJP, Thackeray said, “Anyone who disagrees is a ‘deshdrohi’ is their (BJP) illusion. We have suggested changes in the Bill that we want in Rajya Sabha. It is an illusion that only BJP cares for the country. We must get out of that illusion”
Taking it to Twitter, Thackeray said, “We voted yesterday to absorb various people facing brutalities in other countries but we have asked many questions. Those questions we thought would be answered, ranging from national security to the rights of locals in various states of India.”
“If these queries are not answered, we won’t be supporting the CAB in the Rajya Sabha. Every party supporting or opposing it is asking for clarity in the national interest. Clarity must be ensured,” he added.
Speaking to NDTV, Shiv Sena leader and former Union Minister, who resigned from the cabinet after Sena’s withdrawal from NDA, Arvind Sawant said, ” We supported the bill in the interest of the nation. The CMP (common minimum programme) is applicable in Maharashtra only.”
On Monday, the Shiv Sena had criticised the Bill in an editorial published in its mouthpiece ‘Saamana’ questioning the Centre on whether “selective acceptance” of Hindu illegal immigrants will act as a trigger for a religious war in the country.
“It is true that there is no other country for Hindus except Hindustan. But by accepting only Hindus among the illegal immigrants, will it be a trigger of a religious war in the country?” the Sena wondered.
On Monday, Shiv Sena spokesperson Sanjay Raut took it to Twitter and said, “Illegal intruders must be thrown out and immigrant Hindus must be given citizenship, they should not be given voting rights to give rest to allegations of creating vote bank.”
The CAB was tabled in Lok Sabha by Home Minister Amit Shah after a long debate in the House. The Bill was finally declared passed by the House a little past midnight on Tuesday after a debate that lasted over seven hours.
During the debate in Lok Sabha on CAB, Home Minister Amit Shah dismissed the suggestions that the Bill is violative of Article 14 of the Constitution, which guarantees equality for everyone, as it aims to give citizenship to persecuted people only.
“This Bill is not unconstitutional and not in violation of Article 14 and has nothing to do with Muslims in India,” he said but made it clear that Rohingya Muslims, coming from Myanmar, will not be given Indian citizenship.
Shah also dismissed the opposition’s claims that the Bill violates the Constitution’s core principles of equality by saying that the Bill was not even 0.001% against India’s minorities.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 that seeks to provide Indian nationality to Hindus, Christians, Sikhs, Parsis, Jains and Buddhists fleeing persecution in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh, has already faced cold vibes from the opposition with the Congress calling it “unconstitutional”.
In Lok Sabha, the CAB was passed with 311 votes in support and 80 against.