X Close

Shiv Sena keeps allies guessing on its CAB stand in Upper House


MUMBAI: After voting for the Citizenship Amendment Bill in the Lok Sabha on Monday, Shiv Sena chief and Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday indicated that his party’s support for the Bill in the Rajya Sabha could not be taken for granted.

Putting up conditions for support, he told reporters at the Vidhan Sabha on Tuesday, “We will not support the Bill (in the Upper House) unless things are clear. We have suggested changes in Bill we want tabling in the Rajya Sabha.”

His statement, incidentally, came after former Congress president Rahul Gandhi tweeted in which he indirectly targeted the Sena, now an alliance partner. “The #CAB is an attack on the Indian constitution. Anyone who supports it is attacking and attempting to destroy the foundation of our nation.”
Responding to queries on Rahul’s tweet, Thackeray said, “I am not saying anything on what someone else has said. I am only speaking on behalf of my party… Nobody should teach us what stand we should take... We shall not support the Bill until there is enough clarity on it.”

When asked about the party’s stand, the Sena chief said, “A blow to the neighbouring countries was needed. A stern warning against the persecution of religious minorities in those countries was much needed. But, that has not happened...If any citizen is afraid of the provisions of the Bill, then one must clear their doubts and answer their questions too,” he added.

He also took potshots at the BJP’s efforts to tom-tom Shiv Sena’s support to the Bill. “We need to change the notion that one who backs the CAB and the BJP is patriot,” Thackeray said. “It is an illusion that only BJP cares for the country.”

Congress MP Hussain Dalwai had expressed displeasure over the Shiv Sena’s stand on the Bill in the Lok Sabha, while Sena MP Arvind Sawant had said that his party supported the bill “in the interest of the nation”.