Matuas threaten to end support to BJP over delay in implementation of CAA rules


Express News Service

KOLKATA: A day after Union minister of state (home affairs) Nityananda Rai sought a six-month time period to frame the rules for the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), the leadership of the All India Matua Mahasangha said it would withdraw support for the BJP if its demands for the implementation of the CAA is delayed further.  

“The Union minister’s announcement has created insecurity as far as citizenship of our community is concerned. If it goes on, Matuas will withdraw their support that was extended to the BJP in the previous 2019 general elections and the recent Assembly elections in Bengal,” said Mahitosh Baidya, the general secretary of the Mahasangha.

Baidya was among the Matua delegates who accompanied Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Orakandi in Bangladesh, the birthplace of Matua sect founder Harichand Thakur, ahead of the Assembly elections in the state. Of the 77 Assembly seats won by the BJP in West Bengal, about 50 per cent are from areas dominated by the Matuas.

With discontent starting to brew within the sect, which helped the BJP grow its foothold in West Bengal, the national body of the refugees expressed its displeasure at the Centre for proposing a further delay in giving them the promised citizenship. 

Ahead of the Assembly elections in West Bengal, the BJP had assured the Matuas it will implement the CAA at the earliest. However, blaming the pandemic, the Centre has sought more time. 

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