Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP Mahua Moitra has asserted that as long as the Mamata Banerjee’s party was in power, there would be no CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act) in West Bengal.
Moitra’s remark came after BJP MP and joint president of All India Matua Mahasangh, Shantanu Thakur, urged the Central Government to implement the CAA as soon as possible.
“We are not here to respond to what those uneducated and liars of BJP said. We are clearly stating that as long as we are in India, no one will have to prove citizenship in West Bengal,” Moitra was seen speaking on ABP Ananda.
Om Thursday, Shantanu Thakur, the Bongaon lawmaker, held a meeting with his brother Subrata Thakur in Nadia’s Bogula to reiterate their demand of materialising the CAA as soon as possible.
Shantanu had written a letter to Union Home Minister of India, Amit Shah, and BJP National President, JP Nadda, asking for the same in November this year.
“We had taken up the issue with the government before… Now we are again contacting the Prime Minister’s Office,” said Santanu Thakur, the BJP MP of Bongaon as quoted by The Telegraph.
Majority of the Matua populace, a Namashudra (Hindu Dalit) community in Bengal who worship the Thakur family as their guardians, are believed to have migrated from Bangladesh, erstwhile East Pakistan, during and after the partition.
Even though the Thakur family had come to India in 1946, the majority of Matuas crossed the border “illegally” after 1971 when Bangladesh was liberated from Pakistan.
While most of the Matuas have enrolled their name on the voter’s list, the 2003 edition of the NRC (National Register of Citizens) tagged them as refugees and infiltrators.
They continue to vote. But there have been reports of Matuas being denied caste certificates and passports, with the community alleging that the voter cards did not guarantee them citizenship anymore.
As a result, the controversial CAA, which has made it easier for non-Muslims victims of religious persecution in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan to get Indian citizenship, was welcomed with much joy by Matuas. The roll-out of the Act would mean permanent citizenship for all them.
“The people from Matua community are asking me when it will be implemented and they will get their citizenship. I have no answers. The Matua community has been fighting for their rights for the last 70 years … The Matuas are running out of patience,” Shantanu Thakur had said before writing his letter to Shah and Nadda.
“Matuas are already the citizens of India. Why are they being fooled to believe that they would be sent to Bangladesh,” Mahua Moitra, TMC MP Krishnanagar, said.