Congress Will Not Let Citizenship Act Be Implemented In Maharashtra: Nitin Raut (Photo Credit: PTI )
Maharashtra Minister Nitin Raut on Friday said that the Congress will not let the amended Citizenship Act get implemented in the state. He further added that Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray will cooperate with the Congress party on the sensitive issue. It is to be noted that Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena is heading the coalition government in Maharashtra, where the Congress and the Sharad Pawar-led NCP are the other ruling alliance constituents.
In a telephonic conversation with PTI, Nitin Raut said, "The Congress is opposed to the CAB and we will not let it be implemented in Maharashtra...I think Uddhav ji will completely cooperate with us in this."
The Congress leader further stated that the grand-old-party had discussed the stand taken by the Shiv Sena on the controversial legislation in the Lok Sabha with its president Thackeray. "They have kept forth their view on this in no uncertain terms in the Rajya Sabha...I am sure Uddhav ji is firm on the position his party took on the issue in the Rajya Sabha," Raut added.
The statement from Nitin Raut comes a day after West Bengal, Punjab, and Kerala announced that the new citizenship law is "unconstitutional" and will not be implemented in the respective states.
In the meantime, senior Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut said, "No one can exert pressure on us, what is in our hearts, is on our lips."
On the other hand, Maharashtra Home Minister Eknath Shinde said, "There is no pressure on Shiv Sena on this matter, there will never be any pressure. Uddhav Thackeray is capable, he will take a decision in the interest of the state."
The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill was approved by the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha this week and became an Act on Thursday night after President Ram Nath Kovind gave his nod. The act seeks to give citizenship to non-Muslim migrants who have come to India from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh after facing religious persecution.
Interestingly, Shiv Sena had supported the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in the Lok Sabha but had staged a walkout before it was put for voting in the Rajya Sabha.