In a major development on Saturday, Union Home Minister Amit Shah has reportedly decided to visit West Bengal and address a rally about CAA at Matua bastion Thakurnagar within the next 48 hours.
Shah was scheduled to arrive in Kolkata late on Friday night and begin a two-day tour of Bengal from Saturday. But he cancelled his tour due to the intensified protests of famers against three farm laws amid incidents of clashes with “locals” at some places and also after the IED blast that happened near the Israeli embassy in New Delhi.
Bengal BJP leaders Mukul Roy and Kailash Vijayvargiya on Saturday rushed to the residence of Thakurnagar MP Shantanu Thakur, who is also the joint president of All India Matua Mahasang.
According to ABP Ananda, after the closed-door meeting, Vijayvargiya and Thakur had a conversation with Shah. BJP’s defacto number two informed them that he might visit Thakurnagar within next 48 hours.
Majority of Matua populace, a Dalit community in Bengal, are believed to have migrated from Bangladesh since partition and have been facing sustained issues with their citizenship. As a result, the controversial CAA was welcomed with much joy by them.
Matua voters, who are believed to be 3 crores in number in a state of around 10 crore population, were considered close to Mamata Banerjee’s TMC.
However, the affiliation suffered a blow after BJP made a massive inroads into the Matua community during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. It worsened further after Mamata Banerjee emerged as one of the strongest opposing force of the CAA.
But due to the delay in implementation of the law, despite being passed by the Parliament in 2919, a large section Matuas have allegedly grwon restless.
The heat has been majorly borne by Shantanu, who in turn has put pressure on his party’s leadership to start rolling the CAA before the upcoming West Bengal Assembly Election.
Shah’s rally on Saturday was thus looked at as a potential ice-breaker. Thousands of Matuas had already camped at Thakurnagar in North 24 Parganas from Friday, giving an indication that the fate of CAA would decide the future of Matua votes.
Meanwhile, it is yet to be known if Shah would visit only Thakurnagar or undertake the Bengal tour as it was planned earlier.