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Mamata Banerjee, a name that created history

By Komal Gupta | PUBLISHED: 14, May 2011, 13:21 pm IST | UPDATED: 14, May 2011, 16:22 pm IST

Mamata Banerjee, a name that created history 'Paribortan' , a call that actually brought the three decade regime of left front to the ground was given by Mamata Banerjee, a lady whom her follower fondly called as 'didi'. With her thumping win in the 2011 West Bengal assembly elections, Mamata proved that the suppressed mass of the state is demanding a change and she is the one whom they have selected will be the flag-bearer for that change.

Over the years, the Trinamool Congress supremo and current Union Railway Minister has transformed herself from the mercurial, impulsive boss of a regional party to the responsible leader of a state. The metamorphosis has come through times that have been rough, tough and testing. Under her, the Trinamool is now boasting a stronger national ambition. All because a hurt, humiliated woman refused to be cowed down.

Early life

Mamata Banerjee was born to Promileswar and Gayatri Banerjee on 5 January 1955, in Calcutta, West Bengal, India. Due to a lower middle-class family upbringing, she understood the plight of people and always tried to connect with ordinary people with ordinary dreams.

She is noted for her opposition to Special Economic Zones and forceful land acquisition for industrialization in West Bengal at the cost of agriculturalists and farmers.

Known as a firebrand politician, she initiated her political career with Congress in the early 1970s and quickly rose to become the General Secretary of state Mahila Congress from 1976 to 1980.

In the 1984, she was elected to Lok Sabha as one of the youngest parliamentarians, beating veteran Somnath Chatterjee from the Jadavpur in South Kolkata and was made General-Secretary of the All India Youth Congress.

She lost election in 1989 but returned to Lok Sabha in 1991 by shifting to Kolkata South constituency annd was made the Union Minister of State for HRD, Youth Affairs and Sports, and Women & Child Development.

The birth of Trinamool Congress

In April 1996, she alleged Congress was behaving as a stooge of the CPI (M) in West Bengal, and demanded to “clean Congress”. Soon after that , in 1997 she resigned from Congress and established All India Trinamool Congress.

In 1999, she joined the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government and was allocated the Railways Ministry. In 2000, in her first Railway Budget, she introduced a lot of new express trains in West Bengal.

In 2000, Trinamool Congress took over the reins of Kolkata Municipal Corporation, with Subrata Mukherjee as the Mayor.

In early 2001, she walked out of the NDA cabinet and allied with the Congress for the state assembly elections to topple the Left Front government, but failed as the alliance won only 86 seats.

In 2004 Lok Sabha elections, she was the only Trinamool Congress member to win a seat from West Bengal.

In October 2005, she protested against the industrialization policy of the Left Front government in West Bengal and protested against the entry of Indonesia-based Salim Group’s interest in the state.

In 2005, Trinamool Congress lost control of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation and the Mayor Subrata Mukherjee defected to Congress.

In 2006, Trinamool Congress could win only 30 seats in the state assembly election. On 4 August 2006, hurled her resignation paper at the deputy speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal in Lok Sabha as her adjournment motion on infiltration by Bangladeshis in West Bengal was not allowed.

In 2007, she launched campaign to stop a chemical hub (SEZ) at Nandigram in East Midnapore district, resulting in killing of 14 villagers in police firing. Trinamool Congress staged blockade, protests and strikes. The Left Front government shelved the proposed chemical hub project.

Mamata Banerjee gained a huge political benefit from Nandigram, performed better in Panchayat election in 2008, and won two Zilla Parishads.

In 2008, she drew international media attention by stopping Tata Motors’ dream Nano (the cheapest car in the world) project at Singur in Hooghly district over land acquisition controversy.

Towards the end of 2008, she took active part in extending support to the uprising against police atrocities at Lalgarh in West Midnapore district. Left Front accuses her of working in tandem with Maoists.

Trinamool Congress shook Left Front’s foundation in Lok Sabha election in 2009, bagging 19 MP seats. Its allies Congress and SUCI also got 6 and 1 MP seats respectively. Mamata Banerjee takes over as Railway Minister.

On May 28, 2010, derailment of Jnaneswari Express near Jhargram in West Midnapore district, killing 149 people, Mamata Banerjee alleges that the sabotage a handiwork of ruling CPI (M), demands CBI inquiry.

In June 2010, Trinamool Congress fought municipal election alone (without alliance with Congress), and registered a landslide victory.

In August 2010, Bnerjee surprised everyone when she said at a public meeting in Lalgarh, the Maoist heartland that Comrade Azad was killed in cold-blood, and toe Maoist demand for an inquiry into the killing.

In May 2011, she registered a thumping victory in the West Bengal by-polls shattering the 34-year old Left front regime.


Though she gained success in politics at an early age, her tenure was never a bed of roses. She had suffered a lot of accidents probably much more than any of her fellow politicians have ever received. Still none of them bothered her and her commitment towards people.

In 1991, Banerjee fractured her head in an attacked by a CPI-M goon Lalu Alam.  The incident took place at Hazra crossing in southern part of Kolkata when Banerjee was leading a Congress rally.

In 1993, Mamata Banerjee was physically hackled and thrown out of state secretariat Writers’ Buildings by the police for protesting in front of the then chief minister Jyoti Basu’s office.

In August 2004, Banerjee had fractured second and third ribs of her right cage during a dais collapse incident at Gopiballavpur in West Midnapore district. The accident occurred when she was addressing an anti-Left Front rally.

In August 2010, a truck hit a vehicle in the convoy of railway minister Mamata Banerjee at Kolaghat in East Midnapore when she was returning from West Midnapore’s Lalgarh after addressing a rally.

A single throughout her life, Mamata is also known as a noted painter. She even raises funds for her party through the sale of her paintings. She has a degree of B.Ed.from  Sikshayatan College, Calcutta , an M.A. from the University of Calcutta , LL.B. from the Jogesh Chandra Choudhury College of Law and also a Ph. D degree from “East Georgia University”, USA.

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