Sarada Lahangir

The Assembly Election 2021 in Bengal is going to be conducted just after a few days. So political activities are gaining momentum in the state. This time the election is going to be very interesting. On one hand, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo and the Chief Minister of West Bengal Mamata Benerjee is trying to retain power for the third consecutive term. On the other hand BJP is aggressively trying to hoist its saffron flag in Bengal.

The other alliances like left and Congress also don’t want to lag behind and have participated in the race. In coming days many political equation may change. But as of now the question  remains same, that is who will wear the crown of Bengal? Will it be so easy to defeat Mamata?

For her unique, extremely daring and straight forward personality with an unassuming style, Mamata has always been in the political limelight. She is known as fire brand leader in Bengal. Mamata has seen many ups and downs in her life. .. Let’s know about her journey from a student leader to the Chief Minister of the state.

Mamata’s Childhood

Mamta Banerjee was born in a Bengali family in West Bengal in 1955. She lost her father at a very young age of 17. Her father died as the family could not afford medical treatment. Mamata has six siblings and she is the only sister among them.

Mamata Banerjee’s Education

Mamata Banerjee did her schooling from Deshbandhu Sishu School in Kolkata. After that, she graduated in History from Jogomaya Devi College in Kolkata and post-graduate in Islamic History from Calcutta University. After this, Mamata Banerjee got education degree from Sri Shikshayan College of Kolkata. And at the same time, she got law degree from Jogesh Chandra Chaudhary Law College, Kolkata. Mamata received her doctorate from Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology, Odisha.

Mamata’s Political Career

Mamata Banerjee started her political journey at a very young age. While she was studying law, she joined politics and founded the Student Council Union, which is the student wing of the Indian National Congress. She joined the Congress party from the beginning of her political career.

From 1976 to 1980, Mamata was the General Secretary of the Women’s Congress of West Bengal. Thereafter, in 1984 Lok Sabha elections, Mamata won from Jadavpur parliamentary constituency of West Bengal, leaving behind a veteran leader Somnath Chatterjee and she became the youngest MP there. In the 1980s, Mamata Banerjee became the General Secretary of the Indian Youth Congress.

When the Lok Sabha elections were held in 1989, she lost her Jadavpur Parliamentary constituency seat.

However, again in 1991, she made a comeback and won from South Kolkata parliamentary constituency. She retained the seat for a long time till 2009.

In 1991, during the tenure of the then Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao, Mamata Banerjee was a minister of state, holding the portfolio of Ministry of Human Resource Development, Youth and Sports and Women and Child Development. She was the first woman to hold three portfolios.

Founding The All India Trinamool Congress Party

Due to ideological differences with the Indian National Congress, She decided to leave the party and form her own new party and named it the All India Trinamool Congress Party (TMC) in 1997.

In 1999, she joined the National Democratic Alliance (NDA). After this, he got a chance to become Railway Minister in the government of the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. She presented her first railway budget in 2001, but in that she gave more priority and benefits to her home state West Bengal.

In the same year after she walked out of the NDA cabinet and allied with the Congress Party to protest the corruption charges leveled by a website against senior ministers of the government. Before the 2009 General elections, Mamata Banerjee decided to join the United Progressive Alliance (UPA), and she won the seat. During that time, Mamata again got Railway Ministry.

Municipal elections were held in West Bengal in 2010. In this election, Mamata’s party emerged victorious in Kolkata Municipality Corporation with a margin of 62 seats.

Mamata Banerjee as Chief Minister

In 2011 the All India Trinamool Congress along with SUCI and the INC won the West Bengal legislative assembly elections against the incumbent Left Alliance by securing 227 seats. TMC won 184 seats with the INC winning 42 seats and the SUCI secured one seat. This marked the end of the longest ruling democratically elected Communist party in the world. Mamata Banerjee was sworn in as Chief Minister of West Bengal on 20 May 2011 as the first female chief minister of the state.

In the 2016 assembly elections her TMC won with a landslide two-thirds majority winning 211 out of total 293 seats and she was elected as the Chief Minister of West Bengal for the second term.

Her All India Trinamool Congress won with an enhanced majority contesting alone and it became the first ruling party to win without an ally since 1962 in West Bengal.

Controversy and Criticisms

  • In December 1998, Mamata protested against Women’s reservation bill and she had dragged one Samajwadi Party MP Dogra Prasad Saroj out of the house by holding his collar and due to this she received a lot of criticism and got into a controversy.
  • Mamata Banerjee once made a comment on the increasing number of crime in India. Due to which she was criticized a lot. In fact, Mamata Banerjee said in 2012 that when boys and girls used to roam around together, they were caught and reprimanded by their parents at that time. But now everything is openly done. It has become like an open market with many options. For this comment she had to face a lot of criticisms.
  • In October 2016, the Mamata government in West Bengal banned Durga Puja due to objections against the practice of Durga Puja by 25 Muslim families. She said that Durga Puja can hurt the feelings of Muslims during the festival Muharram. However, her decision was changed by the High Court and it was tagged as a bid to please the minorities.
  • The word Rainbow was known in the Bengali textbook as Ramdhonu, which means Ram’s bow. But in 2017, the word Ramdhonu was changed to the word Rongdhonu, which means the color of the bow. Due to this, there was a lot of controversy.
  • Mamata Banerjee challenged India’s federal system during her tenure before the recent general elections began, when she ordered the arrest of CBI officers who arrived in Kolkata to investigate the Saradha Group financial scam. During that time, Mamata did a lot of drama due to which she is visible in the headlines even in the general elections.
  • Until 1991 Mamata Banerjee claimed to have obtained a PhD degree from East Georgia University in United States. But it was later found that no such university existed and she stopped mentioning this degree subsequently.

In this way, Mamata Banerjee has been seen surrounded by a lot of controversies till now. It will be very interesting to see further, what turn will Mamata Banerjee’s politics take after the election results.

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