Announcing the series of measures for the uplift of SCs and STs of Bengal which include the formation of Matua Development Board, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday came down heavily on Union Home Minister Amit Shah. Shah arrived in Kolkata on Wednesday evening.
Shah who totally skipped the election campaign in Bihar perhaps owing to bad health will be addressing rallies at Bankura and Kolkata on Thursday and Friday. He is also scheduled to visit the Dakhsineswar Temple and meet Padma Bhushan Pandit Ajoy Chakraborty. As he arrived in Kolkata, top BJP leaders and supporters welcomed him with flowers and garlands.
On Friday, he will be taking lunch with a Matua family near Kolkata and an Adivasi family in Bankura. He would return to Delhi the same evening.
On the other hand, Mamata said that some people are trying to interfere in the situation as far as the Matua community is concerned. She said, “For the last 20-25 years, till the time Boroma [elder mother of Matua community] was alive, I used to take care of her. I used to admit her to the hospital. I was the first to visit the Matuas and started developing the area.”
Matuas account for around 16% of the state’s population and are not confined to North 24 Parganas district alone. Rather, they are spread across the state. The community has a presence across at least 70 of the 294 Assembly seats of the state. No wonder the community is a deciding factor in five seats of the state. In 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the Matuas supported the BJP. It needs to be mentioned that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rally at Thakurnagar in North24-Parganas district before the 2019 elections was hosted by The All India Matua Mahasangha.
Meanwhile, Amit Shah’s Bengal trip has raised questions in Bihar where he didn’t campaign at all. Though election is going on in Bihar he chose to pay a two-day visit to Bengal where polling is scheduled to take place next summer. Speculations are rife in political circles as Amit Shah had only addressed one virtual rally in Bihar way back on June 7.