'Section of Matuas apprehensive about CAA, support Trinamool'
KOLKATA: Ahead of Siliguri civic polls, a section of Matua Community—who expressed apprehensions regarding the consequences of CAA—have come out in support of the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) party.
According to Ranjit Sarkar, the head of the Matua Mahasangha of Siliguri, some members of the community were not in favour of Matua leader and Union minister-of-state for shipping Shantanu Thakur or those associated with the Thakurbari of
Ashoknagar, Habra in North 24-Parganas. "The views of Thakur families are different from the demands of the Matua community and we have decided to support TMC," Sarkar said.
"We have organised a rally on Wednesday expressing our support to TMC. The TMC government has taken various welfare schemes for the people of Bengal and it has helped them a lot. In November last year, Mamata Banerjee announced land rights for 25,000 refugee families in the state and said ultimately 1.25 lakh families would gain from this announcement. She also allotted Rs 10 crore to the Matua Development Board and Rs 5 crore to the Namasudra Development Board," he added.
Sarkar opined that the community had been misled by the BJP government in the
Centre. Sources said after NRC was implemented in Assam and reports of a large number of Hindus being left out of the final list surfaced, some Matuas in Bengal had been circumspect on the CAA issue. Earlier, Shantanu Thakur had quit the official WhatsApp group of the saffron party.
The distance between Thakur and the state BJP leaders surfaced over the appointment of the new president of the organising district. As a mark of protest, Thakur left the WhatsApp group of the MLA.
He alleged that the BJP had used members of the Matua community to win elections. Sukhendranath Gayen, general secretary of Matua Mahasangha, had announced that the Matuas would not support any political party. With a population of over 3 crore across the state, the community has its influence over 70 Assembly constituencies, covering districts like North 24-Parganas, South 24-Parganas, Nadia, among others.