MUMBAI: A day after chief minister
once again made clear his support for CAA and NPR in New Delhi following his meeting with PM
, his new allies Congress and NCP mounted pressure on him to get him and the Shiv Sena to reconsider their stand in view of the three-party coalition government in the state.
While Congress leader
tweeted that Thackeray needed to be “briefed” on CAA and NPR and NCP’s
discussed the twin issues among others that came up at their meeting with Uddhav in Mumbai on Saturday, state Congress president and revenue minister Balasaheb Thorat said he would meet the CM on Sunday to know what prompted Thackeray to back CAA and NPR.
Both Congress and NCP have made it clear they will not allow implementation of NPR in the state and feel Thackeray’s statements have led to divergent voices in the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi.
Tewari said Thackeray needed to understand how NPR was “the basis of NRC.” “Once you do NPR, you cannot stop NRC,” he tweeted. On CAA, Tewari stated that Uddhav needed to “be re-acquainted with (the) design of (the) Indian Constitution that religion cannot be (the) basis of citizenship.”
At Uddhav’s meeting with the Pawars, a senior NCP leader said, it was proposed that senior cabinet members of the Congress, NCP and Sena should meet soon to study CAA and NPR. “We had a good meeting with the CM. Besides CAA and NPR, we discussed issues that will come up during the budget session of the state legislature,” Deputy CM Ajit Pawar told TOI.
The senior NCP leader who spoke off the record said it was decided at Thackeray’s meeting with the NCP chief and Dy CM that contentious issues would not be discussed during the budget session which starts on Monday. However, matters related to CAA and NPR would be taken up with the Centre.
Thorat said, “I was supposed to join Pawar for the meeting with the CM, but it was not possible for me to make it on Saturday. I will meet the CM on Sunday. I am sure we will resolve the issues amicably.”
Uddhav had said on Friday in Delhi that there was no need to fear CAA or NPR. The NPR, he said, was proposed along with the census and it had happened in 2010 too, and the census happened every 10 years. If there were any new columns proposed in the NPR, they would be scrutinized by his government and if anything seemed problematic, his government would not take it ahead, he said. On CAA, he said it is now an Act of Parliament and “as it seems, it won’t take away anybody’s citizenship in Maharashtra.”
Former Congress MP
said it was wrong on Thackeray’s part to meet Modi and support CAA and NPR when Congress and NCP have taken a firm stand on the matter. “Before meeting Modi, Thackeray should have consulted Sharad Pawar, Thorat and senior leaders of NCP and Congress as it’s a coalition government of three parties,” Nirupam said.
Meanwhile, NCP leader and state minority development minister Nawab Malik said in Pune on Saturday that MVA constituents would hold a meeting soon to finalise the draft of the NPR questionnaire in the state. “The NPR questionnaire was drafted in 2010 but the Union government included some additional questions. We shall examine them and take a decision after consulting the governments in non-BJP states,” Malik said. Officials said several states had requested the Centre to delete some of the questions.
-Inputs by Nisha Nambiar from Pune