Kolkata: Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday took oath as the Chief Minister of West Bengal for the third consecutive term. She was administered the oath by Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar.
TMC secured 213 seats in the eight-phased West Bengal Assembly elections while Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won 77 seats.
“I thank all the people who were looking at the Bengal elections. Our first priority is tackling COVID-19. Secondly, I urge all political parties to look around so that violence to be controlled. From today onwards, I am taking law and order into my hands. I will post the police accordingly to tackle the situation,” she said after taking the oath.
“I will hold a big celebration once the pandemic is over,” she added.
Meanwhile, the Governor said that their first priority is to stop or end the worrisome violence which erupted in the state after the elections. “I congratulate Mamata Ji on her third term. Our priority is that we must bring an end to this senseless violence that has affected society at large. I have every hope that the CM on an urgent basis will take all steps to restore rule of law,” said Dhankhar.
West Bengal 2021 assembly elections
Mamata became the Chief Minister of West Bengal for the first time in 2011 by ending the 34-year-long CPI(M) regime, one of the longest-serving elected governments in the world. After ruling the state for two successive terms, the game of thrown of 2021 was not less than a do-or-die situation for her.
It is the BJP that trespassed her dominion after gaining overwhelming results from the state in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. And, the emergence of the Left-Congress-ISF alliance made the situation more complicated for her.
The TMC chief endorsed her governance as the rule of three ‘M’s, that is, ‘Maa’, ‘Mati’ and ‘Manush’ (mother, soil and people). But, the Bengal elections had another 3M factor this time, that is, ‘Mamata’, ‘Modi’ and ‘Muslim’. So, Mamata’s challenge was to counter Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s popularity in Bengal at one side and regain her support base of the minority community that was impacted by ISF and stepping in of Asaduddin Owaisi’s AIMIM, which she did.
Making the power battle more interesting, Mamata chose Nandigram over her home turf Bhabanipur seat this time to test her fate in the 2021 elections. However, she suffered a close defeat to BJP’s Suvendu Adhikari in Nandigram.
The seventh-term MP also has been among the first key figures who heavily criticised the Central government in issues starting from demonetisation to Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and lockdown to fuel prices. Her fighting spirit and mass appeal have made her one the tallest opposition figures in the current political arena.
Political career of Mamata Banerjee
Mamata started her political career as a Youth Congress worker in the 1970s. She quickly rose to the ranks and became the general secretary of Mahila Congress and later All India Youth Congress. In 1984 she was elected as a member of parliament in the 8th Lok Sabha becoming one of India’s youngest parliamentarians. She founded the All India Trinamool Congress in 1997 after a disagreement with Congress.
She worked with three Prime Ministers including PV Narasimha Rao, Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Dr Manmohan Singh. She had been a Union Minister in both National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and United Progressive Alliance (UPA) governments and held portfolios like Human Resource Development, Youth Affairs and Sports, Women and Child Development, Coal and Mines and the Railways. Notably, she was the first woman to become a railway minister in the country. The Time Magazine named her among the 100 most influential people in the world in 2012.
Hailing from a lower-middle-class family, Mamata worked as a milk booth vendor to battle poverty. Her father passed away due to the lack of treatment when she was just 17. The fighter in her never let the barriers dominate her. She continued her education and earned a Bachelor’s degree in History, a Master’s degree in Islamic History and degrees in Education and Law from the University of Calcutta. She also worked as a stenographer and a private tutor before joining full-time politics. Another disposition of Mamata is her minimalist lifestyle. Despite being the Chief Minister, she still lives in her ancestral terracotta-tiled roof house at Kolkata’s Harish Chatterjee Street. White cotton sarees having mono-coloured borders and slippers are all that define the fashion statement of Mamata Banerjee.
The West Bengal Chief Minister is also a self-taught painter, poet and writer. She has authored more than 100 books. She is also tech-savvy and remains active on social media. The TMC supremo is also known for her walkathons or marches.