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Baroma blesses daughter-in-law

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  • Published 17.01.15

Jan. 16: Matua matriarch Binapani Devi today publicly blessed her daughter-in-law Mamatabala, whom Trinamul has announced as its candidate for the Bongaon bypoll, and said she did not have any relation with her son Manjul Krishna Thakur, who resigned as minister yesterday and joined the BJP.

A section of Matuas, who have considerable presence in North 24-Parganas’ Bongaon, said Binapani Devi’s blessings had “brightened” the electoral prospects of Mamatabala, the wife of Manjul Krishna’s deceased elder brother Kapil Krishna. The February 13 Lok Sabha bypoll has been necessitated by Kapil Krishna’s death.

Several others, however, said Mamatabala could have a difficult fight because many Matuas were “disgruntled” with the bickering in the family of Binapani Devi, revered as Baroma by her followers. They said the possibility of a split in votes, as the BJP could field Manjul Krishna’s son Subrata from Bongaon, and the national party’s considerable presence in the constituency could also hurt Mamatabala’s chances.

“There is no denying that Baroma has the maximum number of followers among the Matuas. But many of them are disgruntled with the squabbles within the Thakur family. This might split the Matua votes,” said Nikhil Biswas, a member of the all-India Matua Mahasangha and resident of Thakurnagar.

When reporters today asked her about Manjul Krishna’s defection to the BJP, Binapani Devi, 95, said: “I have no relation with him. My blessings are with my daughter-in-law.”

Asked if she was siding with Mamata Banerjee, Binapani Devi said: “Yes, there is no other alternative.”

Mamatabala later visited the chief minister’s Kalighat home.

“I am confident of retaining my husband’s seat as both my mother-in-law and Mamatadi have blessed me,” Mamatabala told The Telegraph tonight. “My job will be to complete the unfinished job of my husband if I am elected.”

Asked if the squabbles within the Thakur family would affect her electoral prospects, Mamatabala replied in the negative. “People will not vote for me but for Mamatadi, my leader,” she said.

Mamatabala alleged that since Kapil Krishna’s death, some of his relatives, “particularly” Manjul Krishna and his son Subrata, were trying to grab his property. She also alleged that Manjul Krishna and Subrata claimed a “huge chunk” of the donations at the Harichand Thakur temple.

Manjul Krishna denied the charges. “These are baseless allegations. That is why I won’t react to them,” he said.

Asked if his mother’s blessings to his sister-in-law would affect the chances of Subrata if he is selected as the BJP nominee, Manjul Krishna said: “My mother is aged and some people are trying to influence her. But I firmly believe that my mother will bless her grandson too if he is made the candidate.”

K.D. Biswas, who had contested on a BJP ticket in the Lok Sabha poll in Bongaon last year and come third, said cadres would “protest” if a member of the Thakur family was made the party candidate.

Subrata said tonight that he would “go to the people and plead with them to give him a chance to serve them once”, if the leadership nominated him.