Raj Thackeray says he doesn’t back CAA but party's stand against illegal migrants unchanged
"I have never supported the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). I only said that all illegal Pakistani and Bangladeshi Muslims should be sent back immediately," he said at a meeting of party leaders.
MUMBAI: Maharashtra Navanirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray has made it clear that he has not endorsed the CAA or NRC.
Last week, during a party rally after releasing a new saffron flag, Thackeray had announced a new pro-Hindutva line for the party, specifying that illegal migrants need to be sent back and his party would take out a march to push the demand. However, at a meeting on Tuesday, he made it clear that his statement at the rally was misconstrued and that he had only demanded strong and immediate action against illegal immigrants.
“I have never supported the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). I only said that all illegal Pakistani and Bangladeshi Muslims should be sent back immediately. It was misinterpreted as support to the CAA,” Thackeray said at a meeting of party leaders at his residence.
There are differences of opinion over the party’s stand on CAA among party leaders. Some of them said the demand for sending back illegal migrants has sent out a wrong message that the party is now supporting the BJP. Thackeray clarified that the party’s stand against illegal migrants remains unchanged but that shouldn’t be misinterpreted as support for the CAA.
The MNS has also announced a mega rally in Mumbai on February 9 to demand immediate action against illegal migrants in the country. Party leaders reviewed preparations for the mega rally at a meeting on Monday. Thackeray attended the meeting only briefly owing to health reasons. He also cancelled his programs today and called a meeting of party leaders at his home on Tuesday.
“India is not a hostel where anyone can come an live as per their will. Illegal migrant Muslims from Pakistan and Bangladesh should be driven out. Some people are taking out rallies now. They shall get a reply in our rally on February 9,” Thackeray had said during a party meeting last week.