Two days after 18 Shiv Sena MPs voted in favour of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in the Lok Sabha, the party’s three MPs in Rajya Sabha walked out before voting on the Bill on Wednesday. This comes after the Congress, the Sena’s new ally in Maharashtra, reportedly expressed strong displeasure over Sena MPs supporting the Bill in the Lower House.
While participating in the discussion, Sena parliamentary party leader Sanjay Raut said, “We should discuss this Bill on the basis of humanity, not religion. There is a difference between intruders and refugees.”
The Sena, he said, did not need prove how “staunch Hindu” and “patriotic” it was. Raut said there should not be any “votebank politics” while giving citizenship to non-Muslim minorities under the Bill and added that there will be “some balance” if voting rights were not given to them for 25 years.
“We don’t need any certificate to prove how patriotic we are and how staunch Hindu we are. We are the headmaster in the school where you study. Our school headmaster was Bal Thackeray and Atal (Bihari Vajpayee) ji and Syama Prasad Mookerjee. We believe in them.” People in India have voted for members sitting on the treasury as well as opposition benches, Raut said.
“I also read and heard that it is being said that those who don’t support this Bill are speaking the language of Pakistan. What does this mean? This is not Pakistan’s assembly. We are all citizens of this country…If you don’t like Pakistan’s language, there is a majority government, it can eliminate Pakistan. We are with you.”