Shantanu Thakur, Lok Sabha MP from West Bengal’s Bangaon, has been inducted in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Cabinet as Minister of State in the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways. He is the son of former Bengal Minister Manjul Krishna Thakur and grandson of Binapani Devi — 100-year-old matriarch of the Matua community. He is also a leader of All India Matua Mahasangha.
It was in Shantanu’s stronghold Bangaon where the BJP managed to win 12 of the 14 seats in recent held assembly elections. The Bangaon constituency is one of the high-profile seats in the state and has seen a fierce battle between BJP and TMC over political supremacy. The Matua vote here has time and again proven to be the biggest determining factor in elections.
In the 2019 general elections, he became the first non-TMC MP to be elected in this constituency since its delimitation when the BJP fielded him with an eye on the Matua vote. The move worked and the party won the seat for the first time.
Shantanu met with a car accident on May 4, 2019, and suffered serious head injuries. His family had back then accused the Mamata Banerjee-led TMC of causing the accident. The TMC had denied the accusation and claimed that Shantanu was carrying large amount of cash in the car.