For or against? Sena in a soup over stand

Our Bureau Pune | Updated on December 10, 2019 Published on December 09, 2019

The Shiv Sena, the Congress’ new ally in Maharashtra, has questioned the Citizenship (Amendment), 2019 Bill alleging that the BJP is playing vote bank politics and dividing Hindus and Muslims.

Sena leaders in the State, however, are struggling to explain their sudden change in stand. All these years, the party has been vociferous against refugees from neighbouring countries.

However, as the party now shares power with the Congress in Maharashtra, it has had to amend its stand.

The Bill was table in the Lok Sabha on Monday. Party sources said its MPs will walk out during the voting.

Shiv Sena’s mouthpiece Saamana has alleged that the BJP government at the Centre has divided Hindus and Muslims.

Voting rights

Even before Amit Shah entered Delhi politics, the Sena had been demanding the removal of Bangladeshi and other refugees, said its editorial. “Others don’t need to tell the Sena what stand it should take on the Bill”, it added.

Explaining its stand in Saamana, the party said that refugees who are going to settle in India as citizens must not be given voting rights at least for the next 25 years. Only then people will believe that this is not vote bank politics, but about national security, it added. The Sena claimed that North-East States have opposed the settlement of refugees. Maharashtra, particularly Mumbai, is already reeling under over-population and hence the BJP-governed Gujarat and Karnataka must open doors for new citizens, it said.

Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut tweeted, “Illegal Intruders should be thrown out. Immigrant Hindus must be given citizenship, but @AmitShah let’s give rest to allegations of creating vote bank & not give them voting rights, what say? And yes what about pandits, have they gone back to Kashmir after article 370 was removed?”

Published on December 09, 2019
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