Shiv Sena today took a dim view of the BJP granting Indian citizenship to Pakistan-born singer Adnan Sami and said the move shows its ruling ally's double standards on the issue.
Hindu Sena activists protesting against the grant of Indian nationality to Pakistan-born singer Adnan Sami at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on Friday. PTI
Questioning the Centre's move, Sena spokesperson Manisha Kayande said, "When BJP was in opposition, it protested against Adnan Sami, now they are granting him citizenship."
Asked if Sena will hold protests to highlight this issue, Kayande told PTI, "I am just saying we are surprised at the turn of events. BJP vehemently opposed Sami while in opposition. But once in power, he gets citizenship."
During the UPA tenure, both the Sena and the BJP unitedly adopted the ultra-nationalist plank to corner the Congress-led government at the Centre.
Maharashtra Navnirman Chitrapat Karmachari Sena, the film wing of the Raj Thackeray-led MNS, had in 2013 asked the Pakistani singer to leave the country as he was allegedly staying in India without a visa.
Sami has been granted Indian citizenship with effect from today following his request to the Centre to legalise his status in the country.
The 46-year-old singer, who has made India his second home for the past few years, had made a representation to the Home Ministry on May 26 last year requesting his stay in India on humanitarian grounds.
Lahore-born Sami had first arrived in India on March 13, 2001 on a visitor's visa with the validity of one year which was issued by the Indian High Commission in Islamabad.
His visa was extended from time to time. His Pakistani passport issued on May 27, 2010 expired on May 26, 2015 and his passport was not renewed by the Pakistan government which led him to approach the Indian government with the request to legalise his stay in India.