With Union Home Minister Amit Shah cancelling his visit to Matua stronghold Thakurnagar in North 24 Paragans district on Saturday, senior BJP leaders Kailash Viayvargiya and Mukul Roy met prominent members of the community and assured them that the central minister will hold a meeting for them "very soon". Vijayvargiya, BJP national general secretary and Roy, the party's national vice-president, were closeted in an over an hour long meeting with party MP Santanu Thakur.
They told the members of the community that Shah's visit to Thakurnagar was cancelled due to sudden developments in Delhi and that he will visit the place "very soon" and address the Matuas during his next visit to the state. Shah's two-day visit to West Bengal from Saturday was cancelled at the last minute following a blast outside the Israeli embassy in the national capital.
His proposed meeting at Thakurnagar assumes importance as the Matuas with an estimated population of 30 lakh in the state can influence the poll outcome in at least 60 assembly seats in Nadia, North and South 24 Parganas districts of poll-bound West Bengal. Polls are likely to be held in April- May this year. Later, Roy told reporters "Amit Shah spoke to Santanu Thakur about holding the proposed meeting on any coming day and asked the organizers not to dismantle the stage originally erected for the meeting".
"Please don't dismantle the stage and keep yourself ready for all last minute arrangements in 24-48 hour notice. My office will keep you posted," Roy quoted Shah as having told Santanu Thakur.
Meanwhile, Matuas living in pockets near the Bangladesh border who had come to the headquarters of the sect looked distraught at the sudden change of plan and left the venue. "Shah could not come due to developments in Delhi. He is a busy person. We are ready to wait for him," a member of the community said.