Speaking at the rally, Raj Thackeray said that he did not understand why Muslims were protesting against citizenship law. "The CAA is not for the Muslims who were born here. To whom are you showing your strength?" he asked.
Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray on Sunday held a massive rally to support the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), which has become an issue in parts of the country with a section of Muslims protesting against the law. Thousands of MNS workers gathered to participate in the rally at Mumbai’s iconic Azad Maidan. They demanded the ouster of illegal Bangladeshi and Pakistani immigrants. Speaking at the rally, Raj Thackeray said that he did not understand why Muslims were protesting against citizenship law. “The CAA is not for the Muslims who were born here. To whom are you showing your strength?” he asked.
Raj Thackeray, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) in Mumbai: I don’t understand why the Muslims who were protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act, were doing so. CAA is not for the Muslims who were born here. To whom are you showing your strength? pic.twitter.com/LNz7gZT3N2
— ANI (@ANI) February 9, 2020
Soon after the law was passed by the Parliament, a series of violent protests erupted in parts of the country. Students from educational institutions such as Aligarh Muslim University in Uttar Pradesh, Jamia Millia and JNU in Delhi hit the roads to protest against the law. Later, the protest turned violent and people set buses on fire, burnt public properties including railway tracks and offices in states like West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh.
A section of people and opposition parties have called the law ‘discriminatory’ against the Muslims. However, the central government has time and again assured that it will not harm anyone as it has nothing to do with Indian Muslims. Despite repeated assurances from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, people are still apprehensive and wants him to scrap the law. Hundreds of women have been sitting on indefinite protests at Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh and want the government to withdraw the CAA.
It is in this backdrop, Raj Thackrey, cousin of Maharashtra CM and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackerey, held a mega rally in support of the CAA. Now that Sena, who was proudly calling itself a Hindutva party, has joined hands with Congress and NCP, Raj Thackrey is trying to emerge as an alternative force with Hindutva as its core value. Just a day before this, former Sena MLA Harshwardhan Jadhav joined the MNS. After joining MNS, Jadhav said that the cause of Hindutva taken up by Raj Thackeray appealed to him.