NEW DELHI: The delay in implementation of Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), a promise that the BJP had made ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha elections to woo the Matua electorates, a Hindu religious sect infiltrated from Bangladesh, has caused major rift in the state party camp.
A section of BJP leaders organised a rally on CAA on Saturday at Thakurnagar in North 24 Paraganas, inviting local MP and Union Minister Shantanu Thakur and Leader of Opposition Suvendu Adhikari, keeping aside the party’s state president Sukanta Majumdar and general secretary (organisation) Amitabha Chakrabarty. BJP’s Bongaon organisational district president Rampada Das was also not invited.
Party heavyweights like Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home minister Amit Shah had promised the implementation of the CAA in both the 2019 Lok Sabha polls and the 2021 Assembly polls eyeing the vote-bank of Matuas who are deciding factors in at least 30 Assembly seats out of 294 in the state. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had strongly opposed the contentious act and had recently reiterated that her government would not allow CAA in Bengal.
Adhikari warned Mamata Banerjee. “Implementing CAA is just a matter of time. The chief minister of the state incited violent movement against CAA. She instigated a particular community. CAA does not talk about snatching anyone’s citizenship. It talks about citizenship of those who had to flee here because of religious persecution. I am announcing it today and request the chief minister to listen that CAA will be implemented,’’ he said.
Thakur said CAA could not be implemented because of CM’s opposition. “We raised demands for CAA repeatedly but the CM opposed it. When Modiji promised, we know CAA will be implemented in Bengal,’’ he said. The MP, however, did not make it clear whether the act will be implemented before the next year’s panchayat polls.
Discontent among the saffron camp’s elected representatives from Matua strongholds first surfaced in December last year over the issue of appointing organisational district presidents of the party after Majumdar’s elevation as the state president.