“I request the people of Ranaghat: Do not listen to the lies of the BJP. Before every election, BJP leaders begin lying only to secure your vote and then vanish for the rest of their tenure. As soon as elections approach, BJP leaders begin talking about CAA and NRC to distract you.”
She added, “They [BJP leaders] play with the feelings of Rajbongshis, Matuas and the people from the Hills. What have the BJP MP and MLAs of this region done for the people here? If they haven’t done anything, why did you vote for them? Now that Gujarat elections are near, BJP leaders are claiming that they will implement CAA in Bengal too. Let me tell them this clearly: CAA and NRC will not be implemented in Bengal. We will not allow it to happen.”
“I ask my Matua brothers…You work in India? You have shops here? Your children go to school here? You have ration card, Swasthya Sathi card, you avail of Lakshmir Bhandar. If your answer to all these questions is yes, you are already a citizen of this country. You have everything, because as Indians, it is your right. You have the right to education; you have the right to avail of free health services like every other Indian,”
Since the 1950s, Matuas, a significant portion of the state’s Scheduled Caste community, have moved to West Bengal from what is now Bangladesh, reportedly owing to religious persecution.
Banerjee also said that she would never permit the separation of the state and accused the saffron camp of attempting to inflame separatist in West Bengal by raising statehood claims.
“Matuas are people of this land, so are Rajbongshis, so are Utbastus and adivasis. We are all citizens of this country. Don’t you people vote in all elections, be it municipality or Panchayat or Lok Sabha? If you vote, how are you not citizens? This is the BJP’s ploy to distract you.”
“I will travel to Jangal Mahal on November 15 to celebrate [freedom fighter] Birsa Munda’s birth anniversary. A state holiday has been declared on that day. I will be setting up a coordination committee and the MP, MLAs of the region and zila parishad president will be part of it. with Indian Express Input.
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