NEW DELHI: Shiv Sena, an erstwhile ally of the BJP, on Monday posed questions to the government over the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill and asked how much will country's population rise if all the refugees from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh were granted citizenship.
Participating in the debate in Lok Sabha, Shiv Sena member Vinayak Bhaurao Raut said party's founder Bal Thackeray had said that sending "infiltrators" outside the country was the duty of the government.
He said "infiltrators" were asked to leave Maharashtra when party leader Manohar Joshi was the chief minister.
He said people were facing price rise, and unemployment was high and GDP growth had gone down.
Raut said Home Minister had talked of refugees from Afghanistan but not from Sri Lanka and suggested that the former should be deleted from the bill and Sri Lanka added.
He said there was no count of refugees from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.
"If all are given facility, how much will the country's population rise," he asked.
The Shiv Sena leader said that apprehensions about the bill in northeastern states should be addressed.
Raut said the party had supported the government on abrogation of Article 370 but no data was available as to how many people have settled in the state after its repeal. He said the government should also tell how locals had benefitted from the move.
The bill makes Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis, Christians from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, who have faced religious persecution, eligible for citizenship. It seeks to amend the Citizenship Act.
Shiv Sena, which was an ally of BJP and had fought the Maharashtra assembly polls in alliance with the party, has formed government in the state with NCP and Congress. Both the parties are opposed to the bill.