COVID, political violence await Mamata as she strides back to office

The “Bangla nijer meyekei chay” slogan underpinned her aggressive election marketing campaign that helped her outsmart the Bharatiya Janata Party.

On Wednesday, Bengal’s personal daughter she firmly pitched herself as, was sworn in as the chief minister of the turbulent state for the third successive term amid raging fires of political violence and a rampaging pandemic.

The distinction between Mamata Banerjee the chief and TMC the occasion evaporated into nothingness as she conquered West Bengal preventing the BJP’s election struggle machine led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah virtually single-handedly.


The victory for Banerjee, by far the largest mass chief because the redoubtable Jyoti Basu who dominated West Bengal with an iron fist from 1977 to 2000, won’t solely assist fortify her place within the state but in addition improve her standing on the nationwide degree the place voices from the Opposition are getting feeble with time.

A masterful practitioner of modern-day politics, she has wielded appreciable affect past her personal state, within the corridors of energy in New Delhi, for a very long time, stitching up alliances with each the Congress and the BJP.

Since main hundreds of hungry, half-clad and offended farmers on the dusty streets of Singur and Nandigram over a decade in the past, she dominated the state nearly unchallenged for eight years earlier than the BJP vastly prolonged its affect and received 18 of the state’s 42 Lok Sabha seats in 2019.

For the 66-year-old spinster, the political journey from the restive alleys of Nandigram and Singur in 2007-08, when she waged a relentless battle towards the Left Front authorities, to ‘Nabanna’, the seat of energy in Kolkata, was as charming as it was punishing.

Although she reduce her enamel in politics as a younger Congress volunteer in her pupil days and rose to change into a minister within the United Progressive Alliance and National Democratic Alliance governments, it was within the crucible of Nandigram and Singur actions towards forcible acquisition of farm land by the Communist authorities for industrialization that her future and of the TMC took form.

She based the TMC in January 1998 after parting methods with the Congress and it was via struggles, massive and small, towards the Communist dispensation that her occasion grew.

In 2001, when the state had its first meeting polls after the launch of the TMC, the occasion bagged a powerful 60 seats within the 294-member House, whereas the Left Front clinched a staggering 192.

In its second outing within the 2006 meeting elections, the TMC’s power got here down by half as it may pocket solely 30 seats, whereas the Left scored a convincing victory with 219.

The 4 years that adopted had been essentially the most momentous within the modern political historical past of West Bengal as she put up a spirited battle towards the Left Front authorities over alleged excesses in Singur and Nandigram.

The meeting elections of 2011 had been historic, as she decimated the Left in certainly one of its longest-standing bastions.

Banerjee’s occasion ended the Left Front’s 34-year unbroken stint in energy, successful a whopping 184 seats, driving an enormous public outrage towards the communists, who had been restricted to simply 60 seats. It was then the longest-serving democratically elected communist authorities on the earth.

But energy has many pitfalls and rising aspirations is certainly one of them. A string of influential TMC leaders together with Suvendu Adhikari, the MLA from Nandigram and a minister, abandoned Banerjee and joined the BJP.

Born right into a Bengali Brahmin household, Banerjee, as a younger Congress activist, fashioned ‘Chhatra Parishad’ unions in faculties.

She rose via the Congress ranks quickly and was referred to as an enormous slayer when she defeated CPI-M heavyweight Somnath Chatterjee in Jadavpur within the 1994 Lok Sabha elections held within the aftermath of the then prime minister Indira Gandhi’s assassination.

She misplaced the seat to Malini Bhattacharya in 1989, when an anti-Congress wave swept the nation after the Bofors scandal got here to gentle, the one time she misplaced an election.

She received the Kolkata South Lok Sabha seat in 1991 which she retained in 1996, 1998, 1999, 2004 and 2009.

As Minister of State for Sports within the P V Narasimha Rao authorities, the fast tempered chief introduced her resignation and held a rally in Kolkata’s Brigade Parade Ground towards what she believed was authorities’s neglect of sports activities. She was divested of all her portfolios together with ladies and baby welfare and human useful resource growth in 1993.

In 1996, she accused the Congress of behaving like a “stooge” of the Left and based the Trinamool Congress in 1998.

She joined the NDA in 1999 and was appointed the railway minister in Atal Bihari Vajpayee authorities, and launched new trains and rail initiatives in West Bengal.

Banerjee give up the NDA in 2001 within the aftermath of the Tehelka expose, which introduced beneath cloud a number of ministers within the Vajpayee authorities, and aligned with the Congress once more the identical yr.

She was back within the NDA in 2003 and was appointed the coal and mines minister in 2004.

She contested the Lok Sabha elections in 2004 as a part of the NDA and her occasion misplaced badly. She was the lone Lok Sabha MP of the TMC from West Bengal.

In 2006, the TMC fared abysmally within the state meeting elections.

Before the 2009 Lok Sabha polls, she joined the Congress-led UPA and the alliance received 26 of the state’s 42 seats. She was beck as the railway minister.

As public outrage grew over the Left Front authorities’s crackdown on protests in Nandigram that killed 14 folks and injured scores extra in police firing, Banerjee’s recognition grew exponentially.

Singur and Nandigram grew to become emblematic of mass resistance towards the communist rulers, and in 2011 meeting elections, the TMC received a landslide. The TMC-Congress-SUCI alliance received 227 of the 294 seats.

After being sworn in as the chief minister on May 20, 2011, one of many first selections of her authorities was to return 400 acres of land acquired by the governent for Tata Motors Nano undertaking to the farmers. The Tatas had already exited Singur.

Banerjee launched a slew of welfare initiatives in well being and schooling sector and for empowerment of ladies, and tried to strengthen the legislation and order equipment by organising police commissionerate in Howrah, Bidhannagar, Barrackpore and Durgapur-Asansol.

The BJP, quickly increasing its affect within the state on the Left’s expense, accused her of minority appeasement after she instituted a stipend for hundreds of imams and muezzins of mosques. The Kolkata High Court referred to as it unconstitutional and stopped cost.

She earned the BJP’s wrath when she banned the immersion of Durga idols in October 2016 until after commentary of Muharram by Muslims.

Ministers within the Banerjee authorities and key TMC leaders received embroiled within the Saradha and Rose Valley chit fund rip-off instances. Quite a number of had been jailed.

Though these allegations certainly chip away at Banerjee’s recognition mirrored within the BJP’s spectacular exhibiting within the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, none of those caught within the meeting elections as her occasion triumphed with a two thirds majority and 213 of the 292 seats the place polling was held.

Election was countermanded in two constituencies on account of demise of candidates from COVID.

She received a mandate of the dimensions no one imagined, not even herself, however what awaits her isn’t a victory wreath however a dire problem to pull the state out of the dual crises spawned by an unsparing coronavirus and retributive political violence. 

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