'Saviour' BJP ready to bail out Shiv Sena if it implements Citizenship Act in Maharashtra

"The Shiv Sena shouldn’t shun its core ideology and change its stand under pressure from the Congress. The Citizenship Act is in the interest of the nation as well as Maharashtra," said a BJP leader.

Published: 14th December 2019 05:03 PM  |   Last Updated: 14th December 2019 05:26 PM   |  A+A-

CAB, Citizenship Act

Express Illustration by Amit Bandre

Express News Service

MUMBAI: It's a case of Citizenship Act ke liye hum kuch bhi karega for the BJP. The party that had opposed the Shiv Sena's request for a rotating Chief Minister is now ready to back Uddhav Thackeray. That is in case the Sena is ready to implement the Act in Maharashtra in the face of opposition from the Congress and NCP.  

Former CM Devendra Fadnavis said in a TV interview that the BJP’s doors are always open for the Shiv Sena, while BJP leader Ashish Shelar said the party is ready to bail out the Sena in such a situation.

“The Shiv Sena shouldn’t shun its core ideology and change its stand under pressure from the Congress. The Citizenship Act is in the interest of the nation as well as Maharashtra and hence the Chief Minister should implement it. If doing so brings his government under threat, the BJP is ready to make a compromise with the Shiv Sena to save the government,” Shelar said while speaking to reporters at Nashik after a meeting to assess reasons for the recent electoral losses that his party faced in North Maharashtra.

Shelar’s feelers came a day after senior Shiv Sena minister Eknath Shinde indicated that the tri-party government in the state is likely to block implementation of CAA in Maharashtra along with some non-BJP government states like Punjab and Kerala.

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“Our government belongs to people from all sects, castes and religion. Our priority is maintaining law and order, and a free atmosphere. The final decision on implementation of CAA will be taken after due deliberation with leaders from all three parties,” Shinde had said while commenting on demands from Congress ministers to oppose implementation of CAA on Friday.

Shinde also said the implementation of CAA and National Register of Citizens (NRC) is in the hands of the state government and that Congress leader and PWD minister Nitin Raut has written to CM Thackeray to oppose the implementation.

Shelar’s feelers were an attempt to get the Sena to change its mind.

The Shiv Sena supported the bill in the Lok Sabha but abstained from voting in Rajya Sabha. Shelar referred to the change in Shiv Sena’s stand and said, “Politics is secondary. Driving out infiltrators is the prime aim for the BJP and hence the BJP is ready to support the Shiv Sena to continue running the government if it decides to implement the CAA.”

Shelar also criticized the Bharat Bachao agitation of the Congress calling it a drama. “The Congress wants to save infiltrators. For the BJP, power doesn’t mean everything. Nation comes first for us,” he said.

Earlier in the day, in an interview given to a Marathi news channel ABP Majha, former CM Devendra Fadnavis too said that the BJP’s doors were always open for the Shiv Sena.

“We are open but there should be some response from the other side,” Fadnavis had said while responding to queries on what went wrong between the BJP and the Shiv Sena.

Fadnavis also criticized the three-party MVA government calling it a three-wheeler where each wheel goes to its unique direction.

“There are too many internal contradictions and the government is bound to fall under the pressure of these contradictions,” Fadnavis said while declining to give any timeline.


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