Amit Shah responds to Shiv Sena on citizenship bill. It is a biting retort
The Sena’s change in stance was driven by its brand-new alliance partner in Maharashtra, the Congress, who had conveyed its discomfort at its stand in Parliament.Updated: Dec 11, 2019 20:44 IST
The Shiv Sena, which supported the citizenship bill in the Lok Sabha on Monday before it took the U-turn on the contentious legislation the next day, has relentlessly attacked the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party. Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday delivered his comeback in the Rajya Sabha, wondering what happened in one night that the Sena took such a sharp turn.
“I am surprised how people change their colours for power,” Amit Shah said about his party’s former ally, the Shiv Sena which has signalled that the government shouldn’t expect its support for the bill in the Upper House.
The Sena’s change in stance was driven by its brand-new alliance partner in Maharashtra, the Congress, who had conveyed its discomfort at its stand in Parliament. Congress leaders had recalled that the Sena, Congress and NCP - which formed a coalition government led by Uddhav Thackeray in Maharashtra - had decided to take a stand on key national issues only after discussions.
“What happened in one night that the Sena changed its stand?” he asked, asserting that this was an answer that the Shiv Sena would have to give to the people of Maharashtra.
Sena leaders walked out of the house soon after as the Rajya Sabha started to vote on the motion to send the draft legislation to a select committee and other amendments.
Sena leaders had earlier indicated that the party would abstain from voting so that it did not end up voting against a bill that it had voted for in the Lok Sabha.
Sena boss Uddhav Thackeray who announced the U-turn on Tuesday had declared that his party will not back the bill in the Rajya Sabha unless the government gives “clarity” on questions the party has raised in the Lok Sabha.
Sena leader Sanjay Raut came up with another reason. He suggested that the Sena had adopted a different strategy because the importance of the votes was different, a reference to the ruling NDA’s brute majority in the Lok Sabha.
In the Rajya Sabha, the BJP has emerged as the single largest party but depends on a group of parties that are not part of the Congress-led opposition camp.
The BJP has been counting on support from parties such as the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), the YSR Congress Party (YSRCP), the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) - all of which are outside the fold of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA).