FPJ Analysis: Only Remembered During Elections?

FPJ Analysis: Only Remembered During Elections?

ROBIN ROYUpdated: Wednesday, May 15, 2024, 10:45 AM IST
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People of the Matua community generally feel that they are only mentioned and used when the polls are announced. The sect that belongs to the Namasudra caste, came to West Bengal from Bangladesh following the Partition. The Matua Mahasangha is an umbrella organisation that was formed through religious reforms.

The Matua Mahasangha was established by Hatichand Thakur in the mid19th Century, but the movement gained momentum under the leadership of Guruchand Thakur the son of Harichand. The community has shifted its political base from Congress in the seventies to the BJP, but tilted to an extent to the Trinamool Congress (TMC), again, during the West Bengal Assembly elections in 2021.

The community has been demanding the amendment of the Citizenship Act of 2003 for a long time. The Matuas believe that the provisions of the Citizenship Act of 2003 made it difficult for them (refugees) to get citizenship. Meanwhile, after the community supported the BJP during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections the party in the same year brought the CAA. The community believed that after the implementation of CAA, they would get citizenship.

The Matuas in general feel that no political party has been serious enough about their demand for their citizenship. After the CAA was brought, the community was hopeful, however, they feel neglected as not much headway has been achieved in this regard.

With West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee clearly mentioning that she would fight till the end to stop the implementation of CAA and the Union home minister and prime minister's continuous announcements during their relentless campaigns in the state have left the Matuas wondering yet again about their future prospects.

The Matuas could impact at least eight Lok Sabha seats in Bengal. In North 24 Parganas, there are over 33 assembly constituencies and the TMC won 27 in 2016. In the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, it lost 12 assembly segments to the BJP... this, political analysts believe happened mainly because of the Matuas' support

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