Two days ago, the Sena had extended its support to the CAB in Lok Sabha, claiming they did it in ‘national interest’.
Mumbai: The Shiv Sena has bowed down before the Congress leadership by abstaining from voting on the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB) in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, political observers said.
Two days ago, the Sena had extended its support to the CAB in Lok Sabha, claiming they did it in ‘national interest’. However, the move upset the Congress’ central leadership. Political observers said that Sena had to change its stance in the Upper House due to its unique alliance with the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party in Maharashtra.
According to sources, Congress had threatened to withdraw support to the Uddhav Thackeray-led government in Maharashtra if his party supported the bill in Rajya Sabha. A Congress leader requesting anonymity said that a message was conveyed to the Sena over its support to CAB in the Lok Sabha. As a result, the Sena members walked out of the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.
Three Sena members of the Rajya Sabha walked out from the House on Wednesday, bringing the halfway-mark down and making it easier for the ruling BJP, which does not have a majority in the Rajya Sabha, to sail through. The bill cleared the Rajya Sabha test with 125 voting in favour and 105 voting against it.
The Sena had repeatedly made it clear that they could vote differently in the Rajya Sabha if Home Minister Amit Shah’s statement on the bill remained unsatisfactory.
Earlier in the day, while taking part in the debate, Sena Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Raut said, “I have been hearing since yesterday that those who do not support this Bill are anti-national and those who support it are nationalists. We don’t need any certificate on our nationalism or Hindutva.”
“We have hopes from a strong Prime Minister and Home Minister. Will you push out the infiltrators after the Bill is passed? If we are giving shelter to refugees, there should be no politics over it. Will they get voting rights,” he stated.