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Wednesday 29 January 2020

Shiv Sena’s volte-face on CAB: Will not support bill in RS

Earlier, Shiv Sena leader Arvind Sawant had said that in the Rajya Sabha, as in the Lok Sabha, the party would support the citizenship bill

The Shiv Sena has turned around on the issue of supporting the Citizenship Amendment Bill 2019. Maharashtra Chief Minister and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, while trying to corner the Modi government on the bill, said on Tuesday that his party would not support the bill until everything was clarified.

The Shiv Sena had supported this bill in the Lok Sabha yesterday, notwithstanding its sudden realisation that the legislation would increase the population of the country to unmanageable levels. The bill was passed in the Lok Sabha on Monday by division: 311 ayes to 80 nays. The bill may be introduced in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.

The question raised by the Shiv Sena MP (Vinayak Raut) in the Lok Sabha on the bill was not answered. Till these questions are not answered, we will not support this bill in Rajya Sabha,” Thackeray said, adding, “If any citizen is afraid of this bill, their doubts should be addressed. They are our citizens; so their questions should be answered. We have suggested several changes in the bill before it is introduced in the Rajya Sabha.”

The Shiv Sena chief said further that there was a need to change the perception that the BJP and anyone who supported this bill was a patriot. Targeting the government, Thackeray said, “If anyone disagrees (with the content of the CAB), he is a traitor. They are confused; so they say this. It is an illusion that only the BJP works for the interest of the country.”

Earlier, Shiv Sena leader Arvind Sawant had said that in the Rajya Sabha, as in the Lok Sabha, “we will support the citizenship bill in the national interest”. Sawant had said, “Shiv Sena always said that it stood for the national interest. It is not a monopoly of anyone.”

Sawant had also claimed that his party‘s alliance with the INC in Maharashtra would not be affected by its support to the CAB in Parliament.

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