KOLKATA: In line with its Citizenship (Amendment) Act gambit, the BJP has printed 3 lakh booklets elaborating how the amended law will ensure citizenship for refugees in Trinamool Congress-ruled West Bengal.
During its campaigns, the saffron party will distribute these booklets to the Scheduled Caste population that include Matuas, who arrived from Bangladesh during and after the Partition in 1971.
The Matuas are mostly found in districts adjoining the India-Bangladesh border.
The first-phase of the campaign will cover North 24-Parganas and Nadia districts, where BJP workers will identify refugees and visit their houses to distribute the booklets.
“The booklet explains how the CAA will ensure refugees get their long standing demand of citizenship,’’ said BJP’s state president Dilip Ghosh.
Refugees, including Matuas, are a crucial factor because in about 70 Bengal Assembly constituencies, nearly 40-45 per cent voters are Hindu refugees.
“Refugees played a significant role in at least 10 Lok Sabha seats out of the 18 won by the BJP. These seats consist of nearly 70 Assembly segments. We will go all out to take refugees into confidence for reaching the magic figure of 148 in the 294-member Assembly in 2021,’’ said a BJP leader.
Party insiders said after the first phase, more booklets will be distributed in North and South Dinajpur, Cooch Behar, Jalpaiguri and Alipurduar districts.
“We waited for a week to get the booklets printed. We believe the booklets will create more impact than verbal campaigns,’’ said a senior BJP leader.
“We will also distribute pamphlets in public places like markets where locals assemble regularly.’’
Governor takes potshot at Mamata government
A day after Jadavpur University put on hold its event, Governor Jagdeep Dhankar claimed higher education is being politicised in Bengal.
Calling the university’s decision as a situation akin to an emergency in education, Dhankar said the executive council did not have authority to take the decision without his consent.
“A new law passed by the Assembly has restricted my communication with varsities,’’ he said.
Later, Dhankar tweeted that non-state actors, backed by the administration, were behind the programme cancellation at educational institutes.