As voting for the first phase of West Bengal and Assam was in progress on Saturday (March 27) the Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee strongly objected to Prime Minister Narendra Modi using the two-day visit to Bangladesh for election campaign.
Seeking attention of the Election Commission she recalled that when a film personality from Bangladesh, who was on a visit to West Bengal during the 2019 Lok Sabha poll and attended her rally and just wished good luck to the people of the state, the BJP people created storm over it and his visa was cancelled. She was referring to the visit of Ferdous Ahmed. Now the Prime Minister is openly campaigning from Bangladesh and who is going to cancel his visa, she asked.
Though Mamata did not raise the issue of Modi’s visit to the temple of famous 19th century founder of Matua sect, Shri Shri Harichand Thakur, at Orakandi in Gopalganj district, she was clearly upset over the way the Prime Minister addressed the community members there. It needs to be mentioned that Matuas, a Scheduled Caste, form about 18% of West Bengal’s population. It is said that their population in Bangladesh is estimated to be 1.5 crore.
As Matuas, according to media reports, strongly voted for the BJP in 2019 Lok Sabha election, the Trinamool Congress is leaving no stone unturned to win them back as in the past they used to vote for Mamata. It is because of this reason that Mamata is angry over the way Modi visited Orakandi in the midst of the polling. The problem is not with the visit to Bangladesh as such but over the timing to visit Orakandi. The TMC leaders are now asking as to why Modi didn’t visit this temple during his last visit in 2015.