BIG: Shiv Sena Defies Congress, Set To Back BJP's Citizenship Amendment Bill On Monday

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In a massive twist to the contentious Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB), Shiv Sena on Sunday has decided to back the BJP by extending its support to the Bill

Written By Suchitra Karthikeyan | Mumbai | Updated On:
Shiv Sena

In a massive twist to the contentious Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB), Shiv Sena on Sunday has decided to back the BJP by extending its support to the Bill, as per sources. The Citizenship Amendment Bill is listed to be tabled in the Lok Sabha by Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday. 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.

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Shiv Sena defying ally Congress?

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. The CMP's preamble declares that the alliance will take a joint view on matters which have consequences on the 'secular fabric of the nation' indicating towards a toned-down right-wing Shiv Sena.

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Shiv Sena- BJP's Hindutva bond

While BJP has claimed that the bill will grant citizenship to 'persecuted minorities' coming from 'Muslim majority'country, Opposition has claimed that the move was aimed at promoting BJP's pro-Hindutva stance. Shiv Sena from its inception to date has been a strong advocate of Hindutva - which has been a major reason for the BJP-Sena's three-decade strong alliance. Until the recent Mahayuti fallout, Sena like BJP has been very vocal on issues like Ayodhya Ram Mandir, Bharat Ratna for Savarkar, abrogation of Article 370 among others.

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What is the CAB?

First introduced in the Lok Sabha in July 2016, the bill was finally passed by the Lok Sabha in January 2019. Protests, which first sprung in 2016, have already reportedly sprung around Assam this week led by the All Assam Students' Union (AASU), which has stated that the will not be accepted by people. Massive faceoff is expected over the Bill in the Rajya Sabha  where the BJP  does not hold an absolute majority.

  • The Bill amends the Citizenship Act 1955 to make refugees who are Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, eligible for citizenship, as explained by PRS.
  • It also relaxes the terms of naturalised citizenship, from the original 14 years to six years. Anyone belonging to the above-mentioned six religions and three countries can apply for citizenship after residing in India for the stipulated six years.
  • In the new draft of the Bill, Shah who met with the several Chief Ministers and politicians from the northeastern state politicians from November 29, has offered to exempt the inner line permit areas in Nagaland, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh and areas falling under the Sixth Schedule in the region from the Bill. 

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