West Bengal Assembly Polls: Orakandhi sentiment a ‘game changer’ for BJP in Matua belt

Aritra Singha | Updated on: Saturday, April 17, 2021, 03:12 PM IST

PM Narendra Modi  | Photo Credit: ANI
PM Narendra Modi | Photo Credit: ANI

Thakurnagar: At a time when the ruling Trinamool Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party are trying to woo the Matua voters which are a deciding factor for many constituencies, the Matua community at Thakurnagar seemed to be already saffronised especially after Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Orakandhi in Bangladesh.

Jogesh Haldar, a first time voter in Thakurnagar tells Free Press Journal that though he is the first time voter and is not aware of political developments much but recalls the violence that alleged TMC supporters do on innocent people for supporting the saffron camp.

On one side when the TMC claims that the Matuas are citizens of India and CAA and NRC is not needed to give them citizenship, BJP’s candidate Subrata Thakur says that out of almost three crore population most of them still don’t have either voter id card or Aadhar card.

Gourhari Sikdar a fruit seller near Thakurbari claimed that former TMC MP Mamatabala Thakur didn’t develop the Matua belt and also that whenever anyone had approached the former TMC MP with any problem it wasn’t addressed.

“We Matuas are always deprived and neither the Left Front nor the Trinamool Congress have addressed our problems. We are hopeful that the BJP will uplift our status,” claimed the fruit seller.

Incidentally, Union Home Minister Amit Shah addressing a public rally at Nadia which houses a sizable Matua voters claimed that if voted to power the BJP government will create a 100 crore fund for the development of the Matua belt and three thousand rupees pension will also be given to the Matuas.

Shampa Haridas feels that if BJP comes to power then the Boangaon area, the citadel of Matuas will get developed.

“Everyone gives promises but no one keeps it. But we think BJP might keep their promises as Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the only Prime Minister to visit our ancestral place at Orakandi. Even Sheikh Hasina, the PM of Bangladesh didn’t vit the place. Moreover the BJP is saying that after coming to power the Thakurnagar railway station will be renamed as Shreedhar Thakurnagar station and it is a proud moment for all of us,” said Shampa.

Notably, the lanes and the bylanes of Thakurnagar was filled with BJP party flags with hardly any presence of the ruling Trinamool Congress and the Left- Congress party flags seemed to be completely wiped off.

From first time voters to senior citizens from all walks of life seemed to be an ardent follower of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

It is pertinent to mention that Matuas said to be very close to the TMC Supremo Mamata Banerjee and a major political force behind brining TMC to power in 2011, had shown their discontent towards the chief minister and in the 2019 Lok Sabha election, these refugees, particularly the ‘Matuas’ helped the BJP to secure nine to 10 seats out of 18 constituencies that the party won.

Talking to Free Press Journal, BJP MP Shantanu Thakur claimed that the Matuas from the very beginning were inclined towards the BJP and PM’s visit to their native place was a huge game turner.

Asked the Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s claim that the TMC had taken charge of their Boroma’s treatment to which Shantanu said that Mamata Banerjee has ‘lost her mind’ as the TMC government has been in power for just 10 years. Shantanu also rubbishes TMC supremo’s claim that all Matuas are Indian citizens.

“If didi’s claim is true then while renewing passport why does police ask for land dalil. Can Mamata Banerjee nullify the 2003 Amendment to the Citizenship Act enacted under the Vajpayee regime massive influx of refugees from East Bengal during and after Partition as ‘illegal immigrant’? CAA is needed to give us citizenship,” claimed the BJP MP.

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Published on: Saturday, April 17, 2021, 03:12 PM IST