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Amit Shah to talk to Matuas on CAA: Bongaon MP

Sources in BJP said that the news meet was organised to contain the damage done by Shantanu Thakur’s previous comments
Amit Shah
Amit Shah
File picture

Arkamoy Datta Majumdar   |   Calcutta   |   Published 31.12.20, 01:58 AM

Shantanu Thakur, BJP’s Bongaon MP and chief of the All India Matua Mahasangha, on Wednesday told the media that Union home minister Amit Shah would visit Thakurnagar on January 19 or 20 to address the people of the community on the Citizenship Amendment Act.

Many Matuas are reportedly restless over the delay in the act’s implementation.

“If the government can pass an act in Parliament, it can also implement it...The home minister will be here in Thakurnagar on January 19 or 20 and make announcements on the citizenship act,” said Thakur.

BJP state leadership has reportedly pulled up the MP over his frequent comments about “discontented Matuas”.

Sources in the party said that the news meet was organised to contain the damage done by the young MP’s previous comments. 

He had been apparently summoned by the party’s Bengal chief Dilip Ghosh and the two met in Calcutta on Monday evening, where he was told that he must refrain from making public statements on CAA.

“Dilipda was rigid on his point that apart from being a representative of the Matuas, Shantanu was also a BJP MP...and that his comments were showing the party in bad light,” a state BJP office bearer said.

Sitting beside Shantanu, Trinamul turncoat and BJP’s national vice-president Mukul Roy, tried to turn tables on Trinamul by accusing the party of misleading the Matua community. He said that in the past, governments used the Matuas as votebanks and never cared about their development.

In a bid to woo the Matuas, the saffron party has approached the central government to set up an All India Matua Development Board. It has also asked the minister of railways for the expansion and development of the Thakurnagar railway station.

“We’ve spoken to the government about these and believe that a solution will be offered soon,” Roy told reporters.

The CAA is a double-edged sword for the party as some leaders believe that the framing of the CAA rules ahead of the state Assembly polls will create unrest among a large section of the Matuas, who believe that they are Indian citizens and don’t need to go through the cumbersome process of citizenship. Trinamul is trying to woo this section.

But a majority of state BJP leaders believe that the party won the Matua-dominated Bongaon and Ranaghat Lok Sabha seats riding on their CAA promise in 2019 and the promise has to be made good.

“The Matuas are a deciding factor in at least 15 assembly seats and have an influence on around 35 others. So, we have to be very careful about their sentiments,” said a source.

Sonar Bangla

Bengal BJP launched a social outreach programme called Sonar Bangla or Golden Bengal campaign on Wednesday.

The party prepared a list of 50 speakers who will reach out to people in all 294 Assembly seats and meet the members of civil society to explain the party’s vision for Bengal.

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