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India

Bengal’s Matua Sect To Play Key Role In 2024 LS Polls, CAA Will Provide Them Stability: Union Minister Shantanu Thakur

The Matua community is believed to be the second largest part of the schedule caste (SC) population in Bengal. Matua voters dominate at least 30 assembly seats in Bengal, while they have a significant population in 70 seats.

Union Minister Shantanu Thakur (File Photo); (Image: ANI)

New Delhi: Amid a political tussle between Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Trinamool Congress (TMC) in West Bengal, Union Minister Shantanu Thakur on Friday said that the Matua sect of the state has the power to change the political scenario and will play a key role in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

The Matua community is believed to be the second largest part of the schedule caste (SC) population in Bengal. Matua voters dominate at least 30 assembly seats in Bengal, while they have a significant population in 70 seats.

Apart from this, there are refugees who have not been able to get Indian citizenship to date. After the partition of India, a large number of people belonging to the Matua community came to Bengal from East Pakistan which is now Bangladesh.

Such Matua refugees are spread over North 24 Parganas, South 24 Parganas, Nadia, Jalpaiguri, Siliguri, Cooch Behar, and East and West Bardhaman districts.

It is believed that after the partition of the country, Pramatha Ranjan Thakur, a descendant of Harichand-Gurchand Thakur and his wife Binapani Devi, united the Matua community in the state under the shadow of the Matua Mahasangh and made several movements to get them Indian citizenship.

“The people of Bengal’s major population consists of the Matua sect, which can play a major role in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. Ever since the Citizenship (Amendment) Act was passed by the Central government, a belief has arisen among the Matua people towards the Centre and BJP, ” he added.

He further said that CAA is a very big issue for Matua society because those people will get a lot of stability. “We believe that CAA is a very big issue for our Matua society because those people will get a lot of stability and they have the right to live in India, so there is a trust in the central government,” he said.

”The CAA law is yet to be implemented and Home Minister Amit Shah has assured us that soon CAA will be implemented in West Bengal, we have full faith in the words of our Home Minister”, Thakur said.

”It is pertinent to mention that the population of the Matua community is more than 2 crore and their hold is considered very strong in more than 40 assembly seats in Nadia and North and South 24 Parganas districts of West Bengal while adding that in the Lok Sabha elections, their vote will be considered decisive in at least seven parliamentary seats in the region”, Thakur said.

The political importance of this community can be gauged from the fact that in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi started the election campaign in Bengal by getting blessings from Beenapani Devi.

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Beenapani Devi was the binding force behind the unity of Matua in West Bengal. Thakur further added that with the support of the people of the Matua community, BJP can come to power in the state.

“After the change in the citizenship law in 2003, the people of the Matua sect felt that they could be sent back to Bangladesh for illegally entering India.” Thakur said.

”But then after the introduction of CAA by the BJP-led Central government, they hoped to get citizenship here, due to which the entire sect is in support of the BJP,” Thakur added.

Earlier today, slamming West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee over her “Khela Hobe in 2024” remark, the Union Minister had said that removing the BJP from power will “not happen even in dreams”. Shantanu Thakur, during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, had won from Bangaon on a BJP ticket by a margin of over 1 lakh votes.