Kolkata, Feb 5 (IANS): International Matua Parishad, the global association of Matua community, has given an ultimatum and deadline to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to apologise for her recent mispronunciation of the names of the two spiritual leaders of the community.
According to the Parishad convenor Sukesh Chowdhury, the chief minister should tender a public apology by issuing a statement for her mistake within the next seven days or the body will organise a "march to the state secretariat of Nabanna" on February 15.
He clearly said that although Trinamool Congress has issued a statement through Twitter where they described the mispronunciation as inadvertent, the Parishad will stick to their demand of a statement personally by the chief minister.
After the BJP vehemently attacked the chief minister for the mispronunciation and there was a growing anguish among the community members over the development, Trinamool Congress issued a statement on its official Twitter handle where they described the mispronunciation as inadvertent.
"The All-India Trinamool Congress has the utmost respect for the Matua Community. Hon'ble CM @MamataOfficial has always strived to ensure the holistic welfare of the community. We bow our heads in reverence to Shri Shri Harichand Thakur & Guruchand Thakur. Our detractors are trying to deceive the Matuas by using a clip of Hon'ble CM @MamataOfficial, where she uttered inadvertently. We urge the people to not fall prey to such misgivings but remember the countless efforts undertaken by the GoWB for Matua welfare," the Twitter message read.
At an administrative review meeting on January 31 at Gazole in Malda district, where people from the Matua community constitute a substantial proportion of the voters, the chief minister while detailing the development works undertaken by her government for the welfare of the community referred to the names of two iconic Matua spiritual leaders, Harichand Thakur and Guruchand Thakur. However, she mispronounced the names as "Roghuchand" and "Goruchand".
Matuas are refugees from Bangladesh hailing from the Scheduled Caste background and contribute a substantial proportion of the voters in parts of North 24 Parganas, Nadia and Malda districts.
The leader of the opposition in Assembly Suvendu Adhikari, through a Twitter message slammed the chief minister for the mispronunciation of the names of the two spiritual leaders from the Matua community.
"The chief minister has insulted the entire Matua community by mispronouncing the names of the most respected spiritual leaders, Harichand Thakur and Guruchand Thakur. Throughout her life she has considered the Matua community as a vote-bank. Her ignorance has proved she had never respected the people from the community from her heart. I strongly condemn this," he said in the Twitter message.