‘Decision to Grant Citizenship Has Given People an Identity’: BJP’s Shantanu Thakur Says Ready for Bangaon Battle – News18

Shantanu Thakur expressed confidence in his victory as he hailed the grant of the first lot of citizenship certificates. (News18)

Shantanu, the descendant of Harichand Thakur —- who founded Matua-ism — said he was sure of the winning margin increasing in the 2024 polls

Shantanu Thakur, the descendant of Harichand Thakur — who founded Matua-ism, a Vaishnavite religious reform movement — and Minister of State for Shipping has been the face of the CAA movement for the BJP. Thakur is contesting from Bengal’s Bangaon, which is set to vote in phase 5 of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

Speaking to CNN-News18, Thakur expressed confidence in his victory as he hailed the grant of first lot of citizenship certificates.

Edited Excerpts:

What’s the response on ground?

We are getting a huge response. I am sure the winning margin will increase.

Is the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) the reason for that?

We have been fighting for citizenship for three to four generations. This was our demand and the Union government’s decision has helped people get an identity.

The first certificates have been given. What do you have to say?

Some political parties were trying to show that our citizenship promise is fake. But our Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah proved that they were serious about it.

But why are a lot of people not applying for the certificates?

This is long process. It can’t be done in a day. More than one crore people have demanded citizenship so the government will take some time and do it.

What about Mamata Banerjee’s stand on the issue?

Now she is saying she supports CAA but with the condition of no National Register of Citizens (NRC). Her nephew also said that without NRC, they will support CAA. There is no NRC anyway. She tried to spread a fake narrative but it did not work.

What is your pitch to the people?

PM Modi has brought development in the last 10 years. India’s situation has improved internationally. PM Modi is a world leader. We believe in ‘Vasudev Kutumbakam’.

Mamata Banerjee has said she will support the INDIA bloc from outside. What’s your take on it?

She has only 42 seats; she will anyway not leave a mark anywhere. She does not have any policies in Bengal. Her partners will cut her vote.

Is corruption an issue?

Corruption is a big issue across West Bengal. If we [BJP] are using ED and CBI as alleged by the Opposition, then how come money is being found in their ministers’ homes?

PM Modi has said he is the last person to indulge in Hindu-Muslim rhetoric. What’s your take?

Accusing the prime minister is Opposition’s propaganda. India is a ‘Sanatani’ haven. Everyone stays together here.

TMC says Sandeshkhali is BJP’s game plan.

It’s a fact that there has been torture in Sandeshkhali.

Amit Shah said BJP will cross 30 seats in Bengal. What’s your take?

The situation is conducive to increase our seats. We are working hard and our margin will increase.

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