As an independent party, we have our own role: Shiv Sena boycotts CAB vote in RS
New Delhi, Dec 11: The Shiv Sena on Wednesday staged boycotted voting on the contentious Citizenship Amendment Bill in Rajya Sabha, two days after voting in favour of the bill in the Lok Sabha citing national interest.
The move by the Shiv Sena brought the half-way markdown, making it easier for the ruling BJP to pass the bill.
Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut defending the move said the government did not give satisfactory answers to the concerns raised by the party.
The change in the stance comes a day after Congress leader Rahul Gandhi expressed displeasure over the Sena backing the bill in Lok Sabha.
After questions were raised over the absence of three of the party's lawmakers in the Upper House, MP Sanjay Raut said, "Yes, Shiv Sena has boycotted the voting."
"My party and I felt that when answers are not given properly then it is not right to either support or oppose the Bill," Raut said.
"We did not say that the refugees shouldn't be granted citizenship, they should be given. But we said that if it's a conspiracy for vote bank politics & allegations are being levelled against you then they should not be granted voting rights for 25 years," said Raut.
"Secondly, if you look at the population and resources of India, how many people can you take in? They also did not clear the stand on Tamil Hindus in Sri Lanka. There are so many things," he further added.
"The #CAB is an attack on the Indian constitution. Anyone who supports it is attacking and attempting to destroy the foundation of our nation," Gandhi had tweeted.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had then said the Sena won't back the bill in Rajya Sabha till there is clarity on the party's queries posed in Lok Sabha.
The Shiv Sena is in alliance with the ideologically opposite Congress and NCP, both of whom voted against the bill. The bill, which seeks to provide Indian citizenship to non-Muslim refugees coming from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan after facing religious persecution there, was passed by Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.
Lok Sabha passed the bill on Monday. Participating in the discussion on the bill in Rajya Sabha, where the Shiv Sena has three members, Raut said the party does not need to prove how "staunch Hindu" and "patriotic" it is and asserted that it is headmaster in the "school" of Hindutva where BJP leaders "study".