Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has said he will not allow the National Register of Citizens (NRC) to be implemented in the state but has defended the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) saying it was not about removing anybody from India.
“CAA is not a law to remove anybody from the country,” said Thackeray in response to a question posed in an interview by Sena leader and Saamana executive editor Sanjay Raut. The interview, his first after taking oath as CM, will be released in three parts starting from Monday in Saamana.
Thackeray, however, opposed the implementation of the NRC in the state. “Proving citizenship will be difficult for Hindus as well as Muslims. I will not let that happen,” he added. Thackeray’s backing of the CAA may create issues in the tripartite coalition government of Sena, NCP and Congress, which have opposed the law.
Thackeray also said that he has not abandoned Hindutva. “I have not converted,” he said. To a question on forming an “immoral government”, Thackeray said, “If it is okay to accept people from other parties, then what is the problem in joining hands with them.”
Meanwhile, Raut on Sunday criticised the BJP for its focus and emphasis on dividing the country into Hindu versus Muslims. “If our country is going to accept Hindutva as our culture, then there is no need to oppose it. But, if the steps are being taken in the direction to make the country as Hindu’s Shaheen Bagh, then the country’s integrity and Tiranga (national flag) are in danger,” wrote Raut in his weekly column ‘Rokhthok’.
Raut further said that the government should focus on the price rise, unemployment and rupee devaluation.
“But, BJP’s entire focus and emphasis is on dividing the country into Hindu versus Muslims. Nationality and nationalism are important issues but employment and economic prosperity is more important than that. Countries like Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran accepted Islamic nationalism. But, religion did not resolve their issues. Now, there is civil war and anarchy in these countries. Is Hindustan being pushed in the same direction?” asked Raut.
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