Senior BJP leader and MP, Santanu Thakur Wednesday said he will write to Union Home Minister Amit Shah requesting him to quickly implement the Citizenship Amendment Act(CAA) to ensure that people from politically crucial Matua community to which he belongs gets citizenship rights. The Trinamool Congress dubbed it as "crocodile tears" ahead of next year's assembly polls.
"I have decided to write to Union Home Minister Amit Shah Ji and our party president J P Nadda Ji to request them to ensure quick implementation of Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). The people from Matua community are asking me when it will be implemented and they will get their citizenship. I have no answers. "The Matua community has been fighting for their rights for the last 70 years … The Matuas are running out of patience," Thakur, who is the MP of Bongaon Lok Sabha seat, a Matua stronghold told reporters.
The new Citizenship law was passed in 2019 but it is yet to be implemented. Reacting to the development, senior TMC leader and former MP Mamatabala Thakur, who too belongs to the community, said the BJP is shedding "crocodile tears" before the state assembly polls next year.
"If the Matuas are not citizens, then how did they vote in the 2019 elections? Whenever elections approach BJP leaders speak about the citizenship of Matuas. But once the elections are over, they don't talk about it. "The Matuas are very much citizens of this country and we don't need any certificate from the BJP regarding it," she said.
The Matuas, originally hailing from East Pakistan (now Bangladesh), started migrating to West Bengal in the 1950s, mostly due to religious persecution there. The community, with an estimated population of three million in the state, has influence in at least five Lok Sabha seats and sixty assembly seats in North and South 24 Parganas districts.
The Bongaon Lok Sabha seat consists of 70 per cent Matua population. Parties cutting across political lines try to woo the Matua community given its electoral importance in the state.
The new citizenship law emerged as a flashpoint last year with the TMC opposing tooth and nail the contentious legislation and the BJP pressing for its implementation. The state had witnessed violent protests in December last year against the implementation of CAA.
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