In Maharashtra, Shiv Sena is supporting the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Population Register (NPR) but the party is against the National Register of Citizens (NRC). Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray, after meeting PM Modi, said that he found CAA and NRC acceptable, but announced later that his government will rethink on NPR.
However, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar can be seen making statements in support of CAA-NRC-NPR. NCP chief Sharad Pawar is against CAA.
In Maharashtra, Shiv Sena is heading a coalition government with the NCP and Congress.
The Congress is against CAA-NRC-NPR, but Nitin Raut, a minister in Maharashtra Cabinet from the Congress, says that Congress will not bring a proposal against the CAA in the state’s Assembly. Now my question: Have you been able to figure out the stand of political parties in Maharashtra over the issue of CAA-NRC-NPR?
What is Political Parties' Stand on CAA-NRC-NPR?
If you’re confused, then you aren’t alone. There is increasing confusion among the state’s political parties over the issue of CAA-NRC-NPR.
Ajit Pawar, NCP leader and Deputy CM of Maharashtra surprised everyone by saying people need not worry about CAA-NRC-NPR and the amended citizenship law will not take away anybody’s citizenship.
Ajit Pawar is the leader of same NCP that voted against the CAA in the Lok Sabha on 9 December 2019.
Not only this, NCP chief Sharad Pawar in Mumbai, on 19 February 2020, had said that his party’s stand is clear on CAA, and that they would oppose it.
Amidst these developments, Maharashtra Cabinet minister and NCP leader Nawab Malik on 9 of February 2020, had said that state governments bringing resolutions in Assemblies are playing with the sentiments of the people as state governments don’t have right to take or grant citizenship.
But Nawab Malik made it clear that his party would oppose NRC and NPR. It is evident that there is no unanimity within the NCP on the issue.
No Unanimity Within NCP on CAA-NRC
On 22 February, Maharashtra CM and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray met PM Modi.
After meeting, CM Thackeray said that people of Maharashtra need not fear CAA and NRC. “This Act will not take anybody’s citizenship,” Thackeray had said.
But on 24 February he said a committee of ministers will think over NPR. On the other hand, the Congress party’s stand on CAA is clear – They are against it.
But on 8 February, Congress leader and Maharashtra minister Nitin Raut said that the Congress party will not bring any kind of proposal in Maharashtra Assembly.
Congress Leaders’ Statements Surprising
Let us understand, at the national level the Congress’ role is to oppose CAA-NRC. Where they’re in power, they are opposing it in Assemblies. But Nitin Raut’s statements tell us that the Congress will oppose CAA-NRC in Maharashtra, but will refrain from doing anything that can destabilise the Maharashtra government.
Now, let's discuss the role of the Shiv Sena. Even though the Shiv Sena runs a government in Maharashtra with the support of NCP and Congress, it enjoys a strong Hindutva vote-base.
So, on one hand the Shiv Sena will have to take care of its vote bank and on the other, they have to ensure the smooth functioning of the government.
Shiv Sena's Struggle to Save its 'Hindu' Vote-Bank
The NCP may also be going through this dilemma. They fear if they oppose the Shiv Sena too much the coalition government may collapse. But the NCP also seeks to maintain its image as a party that believes in secularism.
We can clearly see that Sharad Pawar is not willing to break-up the coalition, and wants to a trouble-free Maharashtra government.
After meeting CM Uddhav, Sharad Pawar said that even though the government is formed by three parties, all three parties have different ideologies, so there can be differences. Whenever there will be difference in opinion, parties will try to find a solution to it, he said,
One can also understand the fragility of the coalition by looking at the parties’ stand on issues such as Elgar Parishad case or reservation for Muslims in education.