Mamata to intensify anti-CAA campaign

Mamata to intensify anti-CAA campaign, special focus on refugees, youth

The TMC supremo has also decided to put the party’s students’ wing at the forefront of her anti-CAA agitation to gain the support of the younger generation

(Credit: PTI Photo)

With an eye on the upcoming Municipal elections later this year and the Assembly electiions in 2021, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has decided to further intensify her agitation against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA). The Bengali refugees in the state and the youth form the core of her strategy.

Banerjee in a bid to ensure that more than 1 crore refugee voters do not get lured by BJP has set up a refugee cell of the Trinamool Congress (TMC). According to sources in TMC the main aim of the refugee cell will be to consolidate the support of the Matua community in favour of the party. The Matuas, a socio-religious sect which was formed by the 19th Century social reformer Harichand Thakur in modern day Bangladesh.

Belonging to the Namosudra caste, Matuas are the deciding factor in 21 Assembly segments in the districts of Nadia, North 24 Paraganas and South 24 Paraganas. Although TMC had the full support of the Matuas in the 2014 Lok Sabha and the 2016 Assembly elections, BJP wrested the Bongaon Lok Sabha seat in 2019 from them by using the CAA, which was then a bill, as a poll plank.

Next month the Chief Minister will also hold three public rallies against CAA in Nadia district which have a large Matua population. She has instructed the refugee cell to launch an anti-CAA campaign from February 5. It will conclude on February 13. Senior TMC leaders will start a door to door campaign across the state. They will hold interactions with the general public in villages dominated by Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes on February 8 and 9.

“The aim is to blunt BJP’s campaign among refugees that by opposing CAA, the Chief Minister is obstructing their path to get Indian citizenship,” a senior TMC leader said.

The TMC supremo has also decided to put the party’s students’ wing at the forefront of her anti-CAA agitation to gain the support of the younger generation. She made this clear at a recent party rally in Kolkata where she said that she was keenly observing the leadership capabilities of her party’s student leaders.