Home Minister Amit Shah took the Shiv Sena to task, and questioned the saffron party's changing stance over the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019. Addressing the Upper House of the Parliament, Amit Shah asked their former saffron ally to share with the people as to what transpired overnight. Shiv Sena will be voting against the contentious Bill in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.
Amit Shah questioning Shiv Sena said, "Shiv Sena supported the Bill yesterday. They should tell the people of Maharashtra as to what happened within the span of a night that they changed their stand today."
Shiv Sena's stand on the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill has been quite ambivalent. On Wednesday, reports emerged that the Congress party has allegedly threatened the Shiv Sena over Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, to change their stand. According to sources, the Sena was told by top Congress brass that Cabinet berths were not important, hinting a probable pull-out from the Maha Vikar Aghadi.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 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 a move to grant citizenship on the basis of religion. The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 was tabled by the Home Minister Amit Shah in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday noon.
On Tuesday, the saffron party backtracked from its stand and said that it would reconsider its position 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 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. Again on Wednesday, Sanjay Raut stated that the party's stand in Rajya Sabha over the Citizenship Amendment Bill may differ from their stand in Lok Sabha but left an air of ambiguity around this statement.
This move of the Sena backing the CAB is in direct contradiction to its recently formed Maha Vikas Aghadi alliance's stance. Shiv Sena which allied with the 'secular' Congress, had recently released its 'secular' joint Common Minimum Programme. Until the recent fallout between the saffron allies, Shiv Sena has often echoed the stand of the BJP on prominent issues like the building of the Ayodhya Ram Mandir, Bharat Ratna for Savarkar, abrogation of Article 370 among others.