Sena MP Arvind Sawant told NDTV that the party supported the bill in the “interest of the nation”.
“The CMP (common minimum programme) is applicable in Maharashtra only,” he added.
Sawant was a minister in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Cabinet, but quit after Sena joined hands with Congress and NCP to form government in Maharashtra.
On Monday, in a scathing editorial against the bill, Sena mouthpiece Saamana said it could lead to an “invisible partition of India“.
After a heated debate, the bill was passed in the Lok Sabha with 311 members favouring it and 80 voting against it.
Several amendments brought by opposition members, including one by a Shiv Sena MP, were defeated either by voice vote or division.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Prahlad Joshi thanked Sena for their support. “I am thankful to them. They have realised that it is in the best interest of the nation that they have supported it. As far as we are concerned, I had appealed to all the parties to support the government,” he told NDTV.
When asked if this could be seen as a thaw in relations between the Sena and BJP, Joshi said: , “That’s a question you have to ask them (Sena).”
The BJP-led NDA government had introduced the bill in its previous tenure and got Lok Sabha’s approval. But it was not introduced in Rajya Sabha in light of vehement protests in the Northeast and lack of majority in the House. The bill lapsed following the dissolution of the last Lok Sabha.
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