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.
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.
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.
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.