Matua community in West Bengal disappointed over delay in implementing CAAtext_fields
After the Union Ministry of Home Affairs asked collectors of two Gujarat districts to issue citizenship certificates to non-Muslim migrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan under the 1955 Act, the Matua community in West Bengal is unhappy with BJP for not keeping the promise to grant them citizenship under CAA.
All India Matua Mahasangha leader Asim Sarkar said the community is waiting to see if CAA will be implemented by 2024. If not, Matua members will not keep trusting BJP as they did during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. He also asked what was the need for CAA, a new law, if the government is granting citizenship under the 1955 Act.
Union Minister of State for Shipping Santanu Thakur, another Matua leader, said the CAA implementation had been put on hold because several cases are pending against it. He also assured the Matuas won't be deprived of citizenship.
BJP MLA Mukutmani Adhikari, one of the leaders of the Matua community, had expressed hope earlier this month when district collectors of Mehsana and Anand received instructions. He said: "For many years, we have been fighting for this act. Ultimately, the Matua community in West Bengal who reside in almost 18 districts of this state is extremely hopeful that it will get permanent citizenship."
"Matuas wants citizenship to be given under CAA 2019, which has religious persecution as a clause. The CAA 2019, once implemented, will give the Matua community its due recognition," he added.
The Matua community migrated to West Bengal from present-day Bangladesh after the partition and the formation of Bangladesh in 1971. There is no official count but community leaders say the population is three crores strong.
The Matua community backed the BJP over the promise of implementing CAA and played a key role in the 2019 West Bengal election. However, in late 2021, five MLAs from the community quit WhatsApp groups of the state BJP expressing resentment over the lack of Matua representation in the state BJP committee.