In a series of tweets on Tuesday afternoon, Shiv Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray clarified the party's decision to support the Citizenship Amendment Bill 2019 (CAB) in the Lok Sabha. He also hinted at the decision that the party would take when the Bill is passed in the Rajya Sabha.
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray ji on CAB, “there’s a perception that whoever votes with Central Govt is a patriot and who voted against is anti national. We must get out of that illusion”— Aaditya Thackeray (@AUThackeray) December 10, 2019
The CAB was tabled in the Lok Sabha on Monday morning, and after a prolonged and heated debate, was passed with an overwhelming majority in the Lower House at midnight. The Sena had voted in support of the Bill on Monday. However, on Tuesday, the party backtracked and said that it would think about supporting it in the Rajya Sabha. Sena Chief and Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray stated that his party would not support the Citizenship Amendment Bill in the Rajya Sabha unless all questions asked by its MPs receive a proper answer.
The party, however, seems confused since former Union Minister and senior Sena leader Arvind Sawant said that they will support the Bill in Rajya Sabha since they will not be playing different roles. When questioned if the Shiv Sena will support the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 in the Rajya Sabha, party MP Arvind Sawant responded saying, "How can we have different roles. Shiv Sena stands in favour of India. This is not anybody's monopoly."
The confusion in the Shiv Sena has been fueled further by Congress' Rahul Gandhi, who opposed the Bill in a tweet and said that it attacks the Indian Constitution and any party supporting it is destroying the foundation of the country.
Most opposition parties like Congress, CPI (M), most north-eastern parties, AIMIM, Trinamool Congress have openly revolted against the bill, calling it unconstitutional and against India's secularity. Opposition leaders Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, Saugata Roy, N K Premchandran, Gaurav Gogoi, Shashi Tharoor, and Assaduddin Owaisi opposed the introduction of the bill in the Lok Sabha, which seeks to give citizenship to non-Muslims from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan escaping religious persecution there, saying it was violative of various provisions of the Constitution, including move to grant citizenship on the basis of religion.