Senior BJP leader and former Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis slammed the Shiv Sena for opposing the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in the Rajya Sabha. Fadnavis on Wednesday night said he was pained to see the Shiv Sena compromise on core ideology for the greed of power.
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray heads the Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra. The Maha Vikas Aghadi comprises Shiv Sena, Congress and NCP. The Shiv Sena had supported the bill in the Lok Sabha but it abstained from voting in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday. According to multiple media reports, the Shiv Sena was under pressure from Congress and in order to save its coalition government in the state, the Uddhav Thackeray-led party changed its stand on the bill in the Upper House.
Lashing out at the former ally, Fadnavis who is the Leader of Opposition in the current Maharashtra assembly, said the bill was on the lines of core values taught by Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray. He also congratulated PM Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah after the Rajya Sabha gaved its nod to the bill.
"At the same time we are pained to see Shiv Sena compromise its core ideology just for the greed of power," he tweeted.
"This CAB 2019 is on the lines of core values taught by Hindu Hriday Samrat ShivSenaPramukh Balasaheb Thackeray ji. Maharashtra and entire nation will never forget this compromise," the former CM added.
The Shiv Sena and BJP contested Assembly elections in Maharashtra together. The alliance even secured a comfortable majority, but it couldn’t form a government due to Shiv Sena’s demand to share the CM’s chair for 2.5 years. The Sena later held talks with the political rivals NCP and Congress to form a non-BJP government. Both the NCP and Congress agreed to the Shiv Sena’s demand of the chief minister’s post. The BJP is the single largest party with 105 seats in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly which has 288 chairs.
Speaking in Rajya Sabha during the debate over the bill, Home Minister Amit Shah took a dig at the Sena, asking what made it change its stand overnight after supporting the bill in the Lok Sabha on Monday.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra Congress leader Ratnakar Mahajan slammed the Shiv Sena for its decision to stage a walk-out from the Rajya Sabha during the voting.
"Unfortunate, sad…Is Sanjay Raut’s speech on the bill sign of the Shiv Sena’s confusion on the issue or an idea of keeping all options open? Their move of boycotting proceedings under the pretext of seeking clarification is indefensible and it will be naive to believe that it didn’t understand that boycotting will help the ruling party," Mahajan said.
The NCP, another partner in the ruling alliance, however, defended Shiv Sena. NCP leader Nawab Malik said the boycott of voting meant the Shiv Sena was not on the same page as the BJP.
"They (Shiv Sena) staged a walk-out means they are not on the same page as the BJP on the bill," he said.
The Rajya Sabha passed the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019, with 125 votes in its favour and 105 against it. The bill will amend the Citizenship Act, 1955. Under the new law, members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities, who have come from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan till December 31, 2014, facing religious persecution, will not be treated as illegal immigrants but given Indian citizenship.