MUMBAI: Maharashtra Chief Minister and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray have supported the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) — which his allies, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Congress, have opposed — saying that the law doesn’t throw anyone out of the country.
“The CAA is not a law which throws anyone out of the country,” the Chief Minister said in an interview to Shiv Sena mouthpiece Saamana, news agency ANI reported on Wednesday.
NRC will impact Hindus
“I can confidently say the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) is not meant to throw Indian citizens out of the country. But, the National Register of Citizens (NRC) is going to impact Hindus as well,” the Sena president said.
India has the right to know the number of minorities from neighboring nations who applied for Indian citizenship after being persecuted in their home countries, he said.
“When they come here, will they get homes under the ‘Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana’? What about the employment and education of their children? All these issues are important and we have the right to know,” he said in the interview to Saamana’s executive editor and Sena MP Sanjay Raut.
No place for immigrants
“As chief minister, I should know where these people will be relocated to my state. Our own people don’t have adequate housing. Will these people go to Delhi, Bengaluru or Kashmir since Article 370 is now scrapped?” he wondered.
“If the NRC is enforced, those who are supporting it will also be affected,” he said. Under the NRC, even Hindus will have to prove their citizenship. “I will not allow the law to be enacted. Whether I am a chief minister or not, I will not allow injustice to anybody,” he said.
The chief minister also took a veiled dig at the Centre’s decision to give the Padma Shri award to Pakistani-origin musician Adnan Sami.
“A migrant is a migrant. You can’t honor him with the Padma award. Throwing out illegal migrants was the stand of late Shiv Sena supremo Balasaheb Thackeray,” he said without naming anyone.
Several Kashmiri pundit families are staying like refugees in their own country. The CAA is not to throw citizens out of the country, Thackeray said. “However, the NRC will impact Hindus and Muslims and the state government will not allow it to be implemented,” he asserted.
Under the NRC, all citizens will have to prove their citizenship. In Assam, 19 lakh people could not prove their citizenship. Of these, 14 lakh are Hindus, Thackeray claimed. In a veiled attack on his cousin and MNS chief Raj Thackeray, who will lead a rally in support of the CAA and NRC in Mumbai on February 9, the chief minister said the NRC is not yet a reality and there is no need for a ‘morcha’ in support of or against it.