After West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced on Wednesday that she would be distributing 1.25 lakh land pattas to people settling in refugee colonies, mostly Matuas, BJP MP Shantanu Thakur has said thay they would first want implementation of Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in the state.
Thakur, joint president of All India Matua Mahasangh, has indirectly accused Banerjee of playing “political game” with the sentiment of the Matuas ahead of the next year’s Assembly Elections in West Bengal.
“We’ll see to the patta issue later but Mamata Banerjee should first clarify if she supports CAA or not. She’s treating Matuas as beggars. We’re not begging. We have one small demand: CAA,” Thakur was quoted as saying by Bengali daily Anandabazar Patrika.
“Even I want the development of Matuas. But I don’t support this political game ahead of elections. Time will tell how much Matuas will be benefitted. Mamata Banerjee has made the latest decision only keeping in mind the political equations,” the Bangaon lawmaker added.
Majority of Matua populace, a Dalit community in Bengal, are believed to have migrated from Bangladesh since partition. 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.
Meanwhile, Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday announced that the patta will ensure land rights for all the refugee communities and tribals in West Bengal. She also informed that that it will act as citizenship for them.
“Many people have come from Bangladesh or other countries but they are now citizens of West Bengal. Mathuas and other minority communities earlier feared that their land was not regularised but we have fulfilled our promise. Our government has ensured land rights of tribals and decided that their land cannot be snatched,” said Banerjee at a meeting with representatives of backward groups and folk and traditional artists at Nabanna Sabhaghar.