Amit Shah has said that the Citizenship Amendment Act will be implemented once Covid vaccination is completed in India.
New Delhi: A large section of the Matua community that gathered at Thakurnagar on Thursday to hear Amit Shah, who was on a one- day visit to Bengal, was happy with the plethora of announcements made by Shah and towards the “commitment” he and the Central government has shown towards the implementation of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) that aims at providing permanent citizenship of India to members of the Matua community.
The Sunday Guardian spoke to multiple Matua leaders over telephone soon after Amit Shah delivered his speech at the Thakurbari ground in Thakurnagar, Bongaon, and all have equivocally said that they are very happy that none other than the Union Home Minister had come to address them and the issues that this community have been facing for years.
Malay Mondal, a resident of Bongaon and a Matua, told this correspondent, “We are very happy that Amit Shahji and the Central government is thinking about us. His arrival at Thakurnagar and addressing our community in itself shows the commitment of the government towards this community.”
Another Matua, Nando Bar, who had come from Nadia district told this newspaper, “Our long-standing demand has been to grant us permanent citizenship and we are sure that this BJP government will be able to deliver on this promise. They have already passed the law in Parliament and it is just a matter of time now that we will be granted permanent Indian citizenship.”
The Parliament of India had passed the Citizenship Amendment Act last year. The Act would grant Indian citizenship to minorities who have been victims of religious persecution in countries like Bangladesh, Pakistan, Afghanistan and have fled to India to seek refuge.
However, the rules for the same have not yet been framed which has been causing a lot of heartburn among the Matua community in Bengal, since this community, who are Dalit Hindus, is one that had fled from Bangladesh due to religious persecution they faced in Bangladesh and had settled in the border districts of Bengal. The community forms a major chunk of the vote bank in about 40 Assembly seats in the state and had overwhelmingly voted for the BJP in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
However, on Thursday, Amit Shah during his visit to Thakurnagar, where he addressed a rally, said that the government is committed to the implementation of CAA. He further reiterated that the government will begin the implementation of the CAA once the process of vaccination against the Covid-19 virus is completed in India.
Apart from this, he has also announced that the name of the Thakurnagar Station would be changed to Sridham Thakurnagar station, while also making some welfare scheme announcement for the Matua community if the BJP is voted to power. Some of the welfare schemes that were announced by Amit Shah include pension for Matua community members, creation of a welfare board for the community, creation of a tourist hub in Thakurnagar and also some schemes for the students from this community.
Matua Mahasabha Sanghadipati, and BJP Bongaon MP Shantanu Thakur post Amit Shah’s visit said that he is very satisfied with the visit of Amit Shah to Thakurnagar.
“We are very happy and satisfied that Amit Shahji has come to Thakurnagar. We believe in the government and his speech today has shown the commitment of the government and the Home Minister towards the issue of this community. We trust this government because the last time Modiji had come he had said that Citizenship Amendment Act would be brought in and it was done and, therefore, we trust that it will be implemented soon. We also understand that the Covid-19 pandemic had hit the world and nothing could be done during that time and that is also the reality. Apart from this he has also announced a plethora of bonanza for the community,” Shantanu said.