While slamming the National Register of Citizens, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray contended that there was no need for Shaheen Bagh-like protests in Maharashtra. His reference was to the people’s sit-in at the Shaheen Bagh area in the national capital against the Citizenship Amendment Act and the NRC. Talking to Sena mouthpiece Saamana, he acknowledged that the NRC had not been announced at the national level yet.
“NRC has not come yet. There is no meaning in the march and protest against it. There is no necessity for Shaheen Bagh-like protests in Maharashtra,” the Maharashtra CM said.
Meanwhile, Uddhav Thackeray asserted that his government would not implement the NRC. Moreover, he opined that this would harm both Hindus as well as Muslims. Citing the Assam example, he maintained that one didn’t become a traitor just by opposing the NRC.
Uddhav Thackeray remarked, “NRC is not just troublesome for Muslims. Firstly, NRC will not come. More importantly, we will not let it come. However, if BJP does decide to implement the NRC, it will cause a problem for you and me, the country’s Hindus and people belonging to all religions. In that sense, NRC is religion-neutral. The NRC will trouble Hindus as well.”
He added, “This is what happened in Assam. In the context of Assam, this is an important law. In Assam, 19 lakh people have not been able to prove their citizenship. Out of which, 14 lakh are Hindus. Just because I oppose the NRC doesn’t make me a traitor and just because you support it doesn’t make you a patriot.”
Incidentally, Shiv Sena’s ally Congress has openly backed Shaheen Bagh-like protests. On January 27, Congress Rajya Sabha MP Husain Dalwai claimed that 1000 such protests had already started in the country. He also revealed that another protest would take place in Shivaji Nagar, Chembur. Contending that all the protests were peaceful in nature, Dalwai requested the police not to oppose Shaheen Bagh-like agitations in Maharashtra.
Congress MP Husain Dalwai remarked, “Wherever people sit on a satyagraha, that place has been named as Shaheen Bagh. 1000 such Shaheen Baghs have started in this country. In Mumbai, it has started in Nagpada. It is soon going to commence in Shivaji Nagar, Chembur. It is going to start in many places. I want to tell the police that there is no need to oppose Shaheen Bagh in Maharashtra. It is happening very peacefully. It is happening according to Gandhi’s principles. After the Independence struggle, this is the first time that people have come out on the roads in such large numbers.”