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TMC: BJP lying to Matuas over promise of citizenship rights

TMC: BJP lying to Matuas over promise of citizenship rights
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Kolkata: Coming down heavily on the BJP, veteran Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Subrata Mukherjee on Saturday claimed the saffron party had lied to the Matuas before 2019 Lok Sabha elections by promising to provide citizenship rights to the community.

Criticising the BJP, Mukherjee said Parliament rules on Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) were supposed to have been framed within six months. "The Centre deferred the matter creating confusion among thousands of people. Now, the Centre was using the Covid-19 pandemic as an excuse. This is a blatant lie. The BJP is playing with the sentiments of the people and terrorising them," he maintained.

Mukherjee said this while addressing a press conference at Trinamool Bhavan. He said the Matuas are citizens of India. "The Matuas have voters' and ration cards. They have exercised their franchise. How can you give citizenship rights to people who are already citizens?" he asked.

Mukherjee said Kapil Krishna Thakur, Binapani Devi's eldest son, became a TMC MP from Bongaon in 2014. His younger brother Manjul Krishna Thakur was a TMC MLA from Gaighata in 2011. "If they had been voted by people, who were not citizens of India, then such MPs and MLAs should have been terminated. The BJP is bluffing to scare the Matuas," he remarked. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had repeatedly said the Matuas are Indian citizens and no further citizenship rights are required for them. Mukherjee said the TMC had always worked for the development of the Matua community. In November 2020, Mamata Banerjee distributed 25,000 land pattas to the refugees from the Matua community. The land right document is a valid document for citizenship, he maintained.

In 2018, Banerjee had announced formation of the West Bengal Namasudra Welfare Board and West Bengal Matua Welfare Board. She later allocated Rs 10 crore for the Matua Welfare Board and another Rs 5 crore for the Namasudra Welfare Board. The Swasthya Sathi cards will benefit three crore Matuas in Bengal, he added.

He said Banerjee was very close to Boro Maa and had honoured her with the Banga Bibhusan award. She was cremated with state honour because of her contribution to the development of the Matua community. Harichand Guruchand University is coming up at Chandpara on 8.1 acres. The Namasudra and Matua movements have been included in the history syllabus of classes IX, X and XI in 2017.

Meanwhile, Union Home minister Amit Shah was supposed to address the Matuas at Thakurnagar on the citizenship issue on Saturday. However, he had to cancel his programme. Shah is expected to come sometime next week.

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