Noted singer Adnan Sami was granted the Indian citizenship on Friday following his request to the Centre to legalise his status in the country on humanitarian grounds.
BJP ally, Shiv Sena, has however, questioned government’s decision to grant Sami citizenship.
“I am thankful to the government of India for this precious and beautiful gift and there can’t be a more beautiful day than January 1 (to get it),” Sami, who is of Pakistani origin, said.
Born in Britain and hitherto a Canadian citizen, Sami has been living in India on a visa since March 2001. He was last given a visa extension in October last year.
Adnan Sami took to Twitter to express his gratitude for the citizenship and wrote, “My Profound thanks to Honourable Prime Minister @narendramodi ji for approving my Indian Citizenship.A New birth!”
The singer became a sensation in the country with hit songs like “Kabhi to nazar milao” and “Lift karaa de”.
Sami , who is known for playing a variety of musical instruments and is a known name for his distinct voice, said on Thursday the love he has received from Indian citizens is “everything” for him. “When my first album came out, it wasn’t Bollywood. The love that I received from people was everything and it still is everything for me. After 16 years, it is not just the land where I work, but also my home and my love,” Sami, who has sung in Bollywood movies and even for albums, had said at a conclave last year.
Watch Sami’s Bhar Do Jholi from Bajrangi Bhaijaan
But BJP’s ally Shiv Sena, however, questioned the move of the government.
Sena spokesperson Manisha Kayande said, “When BJP was in opposition, it protested against Adnan Sami, now they are granting him citizenship.”
Asked if Sena will hold protests to highlight this issue, Kayande told PTI in Mumbai, “I am just saying we are surprised at the turn of events. BJP vehemently opposed Sami while in opposition. But once in power, he gets citizenship.”