MNS Chief Raj Thackeray
MNS Chief Raj Thackeray

Mumbai: Barely five days after going saffron, the Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) on Tuesday clarified that the party was against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) but in favour of National Register of Citizens (NRC). Thackeray has announced a morcha on February 9 in Mumbai to strongly press for evicting Pakistani and Bangladeshi "infiltrators".

Thackeray on party's maiden statewide conference on January 23 had said that there can be a debate on the CAA but questioned why should we provide shelter to someone who has come to India illegally from outside. However, a section of media reported that Thackeray, who had led a scathing attack against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah during Lok Sabha elections, has extended his support to CAA and NRC which has been opposed by various political parties and citizens organisations.

However, MNS leader Bala Nandgaonkar clarified after Thackeray held a meeting of office bearers that MNS was against CAA but it supports NRC. He reminded that Thackeray last week had said, ''We have to be tough with infiltrators. We are sitting on a volcano. It can erupt anytime. We can keep working on CAA/NRC. We have to throw out Pakistani and Bangladeshi immigrants. I will support the government on this."

Nandgaonkar said the BJP-led government at the Centre has taken a clear stand that the infiltrators will be thrown out of India. ''The Centre's policy is in the interest of nation and MNS supports it,'' he noted.

Thackeray in his speech had also said that the Muslims who are "honest" towards the country "are ours". The country cannot "reject" personalities like former President APJ Abdul Kalam, former Indian pacer Zaheer Khan and lyricist Javed Akhtar, he added.

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