The Matua votes are at the centre of a struggle for control between the ruling TMC and the opposing BJP in West Bengal. Poll observers will be closely observing the verdict in the Matua segments of Bongaon, Nadia, Coochbehar, Dinajpur, and Burdwan, among others, in these ongoing assembly elections.
In the sixth phase of the West Bengal elections, the Matua strongholds of Bongaon and Krishnanagar, near the India-Bangladesh border, are among the 43 constituencies across four districts in the fray. With citizenship for refugees having emerged as a key poll plank for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the run-up to the elections, the party will be closely observing the verdict in these segments to run a test case for weighing pros and cons for the newly enacted Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).
The Trinamool Congress (TMC), on the other hand, has been claiming that the BJP made "false promises" to the members of the politically significant Matua community on citizenship and that these people already are Indian citizens.
The Matua people form a sect of Vaisnavite Hinduism and are Namasudras, a Scheduled Caste group, with ancestry that can be traced back to the eastern part of undivided Bengal. After the Partition in 1947, many of the Matua migrated to West Bengal in India.
Report by Chetali S M
Reported on – 21/04/2021
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