Calcutta: The Trinamool Congress (TMC) has declared Mamata Bala Thakur as one of many 4 candidates for the upcoming Rajya Sabha elections. Thakur, a former Lok Sabha MP, was handpicked by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for good motive: she is a outstanding chief of the Matua neighborhood.
The ruling celebration in West Bengal introduced Thakur’s candidature for election to the Higher Home, a day after House Minister Amit Shah assured that the Citizenship Modification Act (CAA) can be handed earlier than the April-Could Lok Sabha polls 12 months might be introduced.
The CAA, underneath which they hope to realize Indian citizenship, has been a long-standing demand of the Matua neighborhood in West Bengal.
The Matuas type the second largest Scheduled Caste (SC) neighborhood in West Bengal after the Rajbanshis. The Matua-Namasudras, a Dalit sub-caste historically often known as Chandalas, traditionally lived within the japanese and central elements of then undivided Bengal (now Bangladesh). Within the nineteenth century, this caste group mobilized underneath a socio-religious protest sect referred to as Matua, from which they obtained their present identify.
The Matua-Namasudra maintain energy in additional than 40 of the 294 seats in West Bengal. Additionally they have a decisive presence in Bongaon, Ranaghat and Krishnanagar Lok Sabha seats, in addition to pockets in north Bengal.
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A household feud in Thakurnagar
In 2011, Mamata Banerjee’s celebration had fielded Matua chief Manjul Thakur from the Gaighata meeting seat. Thakur, the youngest son of Bina Pani Debi – matriarch of the Matua Mahasangha reform motion – subsequently received the seat and was appointed deputy minister in Mamata’s cupboard.
For the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, the TMC fielded Manjul’s elder brother Kapil Krishna Thakur from Bongaon seat, which the celebration received. However simply 5 months later, Kapil’s sudden loss of life sparked a household feud in Thakurnagar, the birthplace of the Matua sect.
For the bypoll, Manjul Thakur needed the celebration to discipline his youthful son Subrata, however TMC gave Kapil’s widow Mamata Bala Thakur a ticket.
An irate Manjul Thakur give up the cupboard and joined the BJP, making certain a BJP ticket for his son. When the bypoll was held in 2015, Mamata Bala Thakur received the Lok Sabha seat for TMC and secured 43.27 % votes. Subrata Thakur of BJP got here third with a vote share of 24.17 %. The lack of his son noticed Manjul Thakur return to the TMC, however the celebration had by then discovered its Matua face in Mamata Bala Thakur. Subrata Thakur later turned a BJP MLA from Gaighata, a seat reserved for SCs, in 2021.
In 2016, when Manjul Thakur was denied a TMC ticket to contest the state elections, his elder son Shantanu began transferring with the BJP, ultimately securing a BJP ticket from the Bongaon Lok Sabha seat in 2019. Within the implementation of CAA, Shantanu from Bongaon received with a vote share of 48.85 per cent, defeating his aunt Mamata Bala Thakur of the TMC, who got here second with 40.92 per cent votes.
Contemplating the numbers within the West Bengal Legislative Meeting, Mamata Bala Thakur is all set to enter the Rajya Sabha as a Trinamool MP from the Matua neighborhood, at a time when the Central authorities is planning to revoke CAA guidelines on the to be told forward of the Lok Sabha polls.
In response to political analyst Snachtighendu Bhattacharya, her appointment is certainly vital for the TMC. “If the Middle publicizes the principles earlier than the elections, the TMC will want a voice that may criticize the regulation whereas persevering with to oppose its implementation. Extra importantly, they want a Matua voice and a neighborhood consultant who can have a look at the fantastic print and level out any loopholes,” he instructed ThePrint.
Nevertheless, BJP MP Swapan Dasgupta stated it’s a on condition that the TMC would criticize the CAA.
“Mamata Banerjee can proceed to criticize CAA and she or he does, however the fact is that with out the authorized course of you can’t develop into a citizen. She says that since Matuas have voter playing cards, they’re residents, and that isn’t the reality. However that is what she’s going to hold telling Matuas. However these ‘underneath the desk’ strategies can’t be counted in the direction of acquiring citizenship,” he instructed ThePrint.
The TMC, however, sees the Rajya Sabha nomination as Mamata Bala Thakur’s reward for the work she has achieved for the Matua neighborhood.
“Mamata Bala Thakur is a former MP, she has labored arduous regionally for the Matua neighborhood. She has at all times been a bridge for TMC and Matuas and that’s the reason our honorable chairman has rewarded her,” TMC MP Sukhendu Sekhar Roy instructed ThePrint.
He added, “On the CAA, Mamata Banerjee has made our place clear however might Matua chief Shantanu Thakur, Minister of State (MoS), Transport, in Modi’s Cupboard, have develop into an MP if he didn’t been a member of parliament? Indian citizen? The BJP is simply making an attempt to create confusion among the many Matua neighborhood, who’re already residents.”
(Edited by Amrtansh Arora)
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