Barasat/Kolkata: The politics over Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019, that seeks to grant Indian citizenship to non-Muslim immigrants, is taking an interesting turn.
The Bill, which was passed by the Lok Sabha last month, now needs to be cleared by the Rajya Sabha where the BJP is in minority.
Against this backdrop, Binapani Thakur popular as Boroma, the guardian of the Matua Mahasangha ~ a socio-religious organisation of the Dalit Hindu Bengali immigrants from erstwhile East Bengal ~ has written to Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee requesting her to support the Bill.
In a letter worded in Bengali, Boroma has stated that she has learned from “reliable sources that the Bill will be tabled in the Rajya Sabha in a day or two” and that she wants Trinamool to support the Bill there.
Santanu Thakur, Boroma’s grandson and general secretary of Matua Mahasangha who had unsuccessfully contested the 2014 Lok Sabha polls on BJP ticket, today showed the letter to journalists and read out its contents in a news conference.
The letter emphasises that the passage of the Citizenship Bill will benefit the immigrants from East Bengal, including the Matuas, the most.
“Unless Trinamool backs the Bill, Matuas will no longer be a party to the ongoing game (of politics),” Boroma has warned.
Santanu said that Boroma directed him to deliver the letter to the Trinamool chief and hence, he e-mailed a scanned copy of it to Banerjee today morning. “We haven’t got a reply or acknowledgment as yet,” he added.
The move comes barely 10 days since Prime Minister Narendra Modi called on Boroma at Thakurnagar and then urged Trinamool from a public rally to back the Bill.
Mamatabala Thakur, a Trinamool MP and aunt of Santanu has, however, questioned the veracity of the letter.
“Boroma is over 100 years old and she is so infirm that she cannot even sign. How come she penned the letter then? This is a forgery and we will lodge an FIR against this,” the Trinamool MP said.
She maintained that “Citizenship Bill will be detrimental to the Matuas” and that is why Trinamool has decided to oppose it in the Rajya Sabha. There is no chance of a rethink on this.