Samajwadi Party's Abu Azmi warned Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray over the implementation of the National Population Register (NPR) in the state. Issuing a threat, the Samajwadi Party leader further urged Thackeray to pass a resolution against the contentious citizenship law (CAA), similar to the Kerala and West Bengal governments.
Abu Azmi, who supported the Shiv Sena-led Maha Vikas Aghadi in Maharashtra, said that he would be the first, along with NCP chief Sharad Pawar to walk out of the alliance if the NPR is not rolled back by Uddhav Thackeray in Maharashtra. On Sunday, Thackeray had clarified that his stand on CAA, NRC and NPR was well thought of and decided after holding consultations with allies--NCP and Congress and other constituents of the Maha Vikas Aghadi.
After meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi as part of a scheduled visit on Friday, Thackeray said that there is no need to fear CAA and that NPR is not going to throw anyone out of the country. Earlier, Thackeray had said that his government will not allow the proposed NRC to be implemented as it would "impact people of all religions". Uddhav Thackeray's stand appeared at variance with the NCP and the Congress.
"I have made my stand clear on these issues and I have also discussed it with the alliance partners Congress and NCP," Thackeray said while talking to reporters on the eve of the Budget session of the state legislature.
However, after meeting with Sharad Pawar on Sunday, Thackeray's stand saw an alleged shift. Maharashtra Chief Minister on Sunday blamed the BJP government over the violence in protests that were unleashed in Uttar Pradesh and the protest site Shaheen Bagh. The Shiv Sena chief, in addition, lambasted the 'terror attack' in Jawaharlal Nehru University on January 5.
"Wherever BJP governments are in power like Uttar Pradesh or Delhi which is under Home Ministry, we have seen protests like Shaheen Bagh going on for over 60 days. In Uttar Pradesh, riots have taken place over CAA protests," the Maharashtra CM said on Sunday. The statement came after Thackeray held a closed-door meeting with NCP president Sharad Pawar and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar at his official residence on Sunday.
A similar stance was noticed after his meeting with Congress chief Sonia Gandhi on February 21. In the press conference, Thackeray had asserted that the NPR was a regular exercise like the census. However, writing on Twitter, he added a significant caveat. According to him, the Maharashtra government would not allow NPR in the state if the new columns proposed in the NPR forms were found to be problematic after scrutiny. This is the first time that Shiv Sena has hinted at the possibility of not implementing the NPR.