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Won’t support Bill till we get clarity on Sena queries: Uddhav

Mumbai: Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday said the Shiv Sena will not back the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in the Rajya Sabha till there is clarity on the party’s queries posed in the Lok Sabha.

The Lok Sabha passed the Bill, which seeks to provide Indian citizenship to non-Muslim refugees coming from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan after facing religious persecution there, a little past midnight on Monday after a heated debate that lasted over seven hours. The Sena supported the Bill in the Lower House.

Thackeray told reporters here that a detailed discussion and debate on the Bill was necessary. The Modi government needs to worry about the economy, job crisis and rising cost of living, especially the onion price rise, more than the implementation of the Bill, he said.

“We need to change this notion that one who supports the Bill and the BJP is a patriot and one who opposes it is anti-national. The government should answer all the issues raised on the Bill,” he said.

Taking a dig at the BJP, Thackeray wondered if people who have sought refuge in India and who will come under the Bill’s ambit will now get more onions. “The BJP feels that anyone who disagrees (with it) is a ‘deshdrohi’ (traitor),” Thackeray said.

The Sena has suggested changes it wants to be included in the Bill in Rajya Sabha, he said. “Where will these refugees stay…In which state. All this should be clarified,” he added.

“We raised some questions but they were not answered. It is an illusion that only the BJP cares for the country,” Thackeray said. “We don’t take a stand based on who likes it or not,” he said when asked about his party’s stance on the Bill.

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