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Shiv Sena demands changes in CAB

Shiv Sena demands changes in CAB
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray. Photo: IANS

The CAB which will be tabled in Rajya Sabha or Upper House on Wednesday will require the support of at least 123 MPs in the 245-member House to pass the bill. Ahead of the citizenship bill’s test, Shiv Sena has demanded amendments in the bill.

“We will not give support to the Bill (Citizenship Amendment Bill) unless things are clear,” said Thackeray.

“If any citizen is afraid of this bill, then one must clear their doubts. They are our citizens so one must answer their questions too. Anyone who disagrees is a ‘deshdrohi’ (traitor) is their illusion. We have suggested changes in Citizenship Amendment Bill we want in Rajya Sabha. It is an illusion that only BJP cares for the country,” he added.

Sena had suggested certain amendments like not granting voting rights for 25 years and including the refugees from Sri Lanka in the scope of the bill – those were defeated when the bill was put to vote.

As per the calculations of the BJP’s floor managers, the effective strength of the Rajya Sabha is 238. The NDA’s current strength is 105 in the House, including 83 members of the BJP, six of Janata Dal(U) [JD(U)], three of Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), one each from LJP and RPI(A) and 11 nominated MPs.

The BJP is in talks with AIADMK which has 11 members, the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) with seven members, YSR Congress with two members and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) with two members. The saffron party is confident of their support as all these parties had backed the bill in Lok Sabha.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had earlier slammed the parties that supported the bill in the Lok Sabha. “The #CAB is an attack on the Indian constitution. Anyone who supports it is attacking and attempting to destroy the foundation of our nation,” Gandhi said on Twitter on Tuesday.

Shiv Sena, along with JD(U), LJP, BJD and YSR Congress Party, extended support to the bill. The party had recently ditched its long-time ally BJP in Maharashtra and sided with Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) to form the government in Maharashtra.

The party, however, clarified that its support to CAB does not mean any compromise on the common minimum program on the basis of which it has formed the government in Maharashtra. “Shiv Sena has a different ideology. The Maha Vikas Aghadi in Maharashtra has formed an alliance on the basis of a common minimum program (CMP), which will not get affected due to the difference in our ideologies,” NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik said.

The bill seeks to grant Indian citizenship to non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan. Lok Sabha passed it with a majority of 311 votes against 80 votes in the Lower House where 391 members were present and voted.

Through this bill, Indian citizenship will be provided to the members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities, who have come from the three countries to India till December 31, 2014, to put an end to them being treated as illegal immigrants in the country.

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