Mamata takes a dig at Amit Shah ahead of his rallies in Bengal | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Mamata takes a dig at Amit Shah ahead of his rallies in Bengal

Hindustan Times, Kolkata | ByHT Correspondent | Edited by Sameer
Nov 05, 2020 11:19 AM IST

Buoyed by its impressive gains in the 2019 election in which the BJP won 18 out of the state’s 42 parliamentary seats, the party is hoping to replicate the performance in the 2021 assembly

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday took a veiled dig at Union home minister Amit Shah as he is scheduled to have lunch with a Matua Dalit family near Kolkata on Friday during his two-day visit to the state.

Union home minister Amit Shah arrived in Kolkata on Wednesday.(HT photo)
Union home minister Amit Shah arrived in Kolkata on Wednesday.(HT photo)

“For the last 20-25 years, till the time Boroma [elder mother of Matua community] was alive, I used to take care of her. I used to admit her to the hospital. I was the first to visit the Matuas and started developing the area. Some people are new and trying to parachute. They will not know...” said Banerjee.

The All India Matua Mahasangha hosted Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rally at Thakurnagar in North 24-Parganas district before the 2019 national polls.

Also read | EC sets the ball rolling for Bengal polls in 2021; calls all-party meeting

Shah arrived in Kolkata on Wednesday evening. “I will be reaching West Bengal today [Wednesday] for a two-day visit. I am eager to interact with BJP [Bharatiya Janata Party] karyakartas [workers], the people of Bengal, media persons and people from various communities,” Shah tweeted before his arrival.

Top BJP leaders, workers, and supporters showered flower petals and blew conch shells to welcome Shah as he arrived in Kolkata.

Buoyed by its impressive gains in the 2019 election in which the BJP won 18 out of the state’s 42 parliamentary seats, the party is now hoping to replicate the performance in the 2021 West Bengal assembly.

Shah is scheduled to address rallies in Bankura and Kolkata on Thursday and Friday. He will visit the Dakhsineswar Temple and meet Padma Bhushan Pandit Ajoy Chakraborty.

“He would have lunch with an adivasi family in Bankura and a Matua family near Kolkata. He is scheduled to fly back to Delhi on Friday evening,” said a BJP leader.

The Matua community has a presence across at least 70 out of 294 assembly seats in the state. The community is the deciding factor in five seats. In the 2019 elections, the Matuas supported the BJP. BJP’s Shantanu Thakur, a Matua, defeated his aunt, ruling Trinamool Congress’s Mamata Bala Thakur, from Bongaon.

Banerjee said Matuas account for around 16% of the state’s population and are not confined to Bongaon in North 24 Parganas district alone. “[They] are spread across the state. We plan to set up a Matua Development Board. I have also allocated a budget of Rs 10 crore,” Banerjee said while sanctioning an ambulance for Matua people in Nadia district.

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