Barely 12 hours after voting in support of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in the Lok Sabha, Shiv Sena on Tuesday changed its stand saying that the party's support in Rajya Sabha should not be taken for granted.
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said the party has raised many questions yesterday and if they are not answered Shiv Sena will not support the CAB in the Rajya Sabha. Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut also made similar statement in New Delhi. The government will present the CAB bill on Wednesday and seek its passage after debate.
However, cracks were surfaced between Shiv Sena and Congress on the CAB Bill which was passed at the stroke of midnight by the Lok Sabha. Congress party expressed displeasure over its alliance partner Shiv Sena in Maharashtra to vote for the bill.
Congress MP Rahul Gandhi said ''The CAB is an attack on the Indian constitution. Anyone who supports it is attacking and attempting to destroy the foundation of our nation.'' Further another party MP Hussain Dalwai opined Shiv Sena should have walked out of the house or abstained during voting.
The strong displeasure by Congress forced Shiv Sena to make a turn around on CAB. "We will not give support the bill unless things are clear. They (government) should make changes when they bring the bill to the Rajya Sabha," said Thackeray. He further added, ''We need to change this perception that those who support the bill and the BJP are patriots and those who oppose it are anti-national. The government should answer all the issues raised on the Bill."
Thackeray further stated that the party yesterday voted to support the CAB to absorb various people facing brutalities in other countries but we have asked many questions."
Raut said, "We may not vote the same way we did in the Lok Sabha, it is an evolving situation."
He reminded that Shiv Sena has demanded that the non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, who will become Indian citizens, should not be given voting right for 25 years. The Centrer needs to tell the parliament where these non Muslim refugees wll be rehabilitate
Earlier, Shiv Sena MP Arvind Sawant said , “Alag alag bhumika hoti kya humari? Rashtra ke hith ki bhumika lekar Shiv Sena khadi rehti hain, yeh kisi ki monopoly nahi hai (Should there have been a different stand? When it is about the nation’s interest, Shiv Sena stands strong. This is not any single party’s monopoly).” He stated that the party voted in support of the CAB in the larger interest of the country. He clarified that the common minimum programme is for Maharashtra where Shiv Sena has joined hands with NCP and Congress to form the government.
Meanwhile, the leader of opposition in the state assembly Devendrsa Fadnavis criticised Shiv Sena over its flip flop on the CAB. He observed that Shiv Sena should not change its stand under the Congress party's pressure.