Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress is all set to retain power in West Bengal for the third consecutive term after the month-long, eight-phase Assembly polls. Mamata’s TMC has won 200+ seats and gave a tough fight to the ruling BJP government.
A look back at Mamata Banerjee’s journey: She is the founder and the chief of the All India Trinamool Congress, abbreviated as AITC or TMC, and is currently serving as the Chief Minister of West Bengal.
Mamata Banerjee became the first-ever woman Chief Minister of Bengal in the year 2011, and there she is popularly known as 'didi', which literally translates as 'elderly sister'. Mamta Banerjee was born in a middle-class family on the 5th of January, 1955, and entered politics from her college days. She joined Congress in her youth and won her first Lok Sabha elections in 1984 from Jadavpur Parliamentary Constituency. On the same parliamentary seat, she lost for the second time and won again in 1991. She became Railway Minister two consecutive times and for a short term, she also worked as Minister of Coals and Mines in 2004.
Although she was a national star, she has never forgotten her roots, her homeland West Bengal. She formed the All India Trinamool Congress in the year 1997. Following alliances with both NDA and UPA, Banerjee rose to even more prominence during Nandigram and Singur agitations. In 2012 Banerjee withdrew support from the UPA.
Mamata Banerjee was popular for two years as in 2006, she waged a 25-days hunger strike to protest against the West Bengal government which forcibly acquired farmer’s land to build automobile factories. She also raised her voice in favor of human rights and women and children's welfare.
And finally, in 2011 she was elected as the Chief Minister of West Bengal by the citizens of the state and was re-elected in 2016, with a greater majority. This year exit polls are also showing a thumbs-up to Banerjee and it is expected that she will remain the CM of Bengal third consecutive year.
In 2016, when she became Chief Minister for the second time, TMC alone won 211 seats out of 294 seats against a left-congress alliance, brought down 34 years of Left Front rule in the state.
She is always seen in a simple cotton sari and still lived in her mom’s house and never hesitates in raising her opinion bluntly and colorfully. She was outspoken against the communists, who were in power since 1977. And now, Mamata Banerjee is always in the headlines and nowadays she is engaged in a verbal fight with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
In Bengal battleground, it is always PM vs CM. During the election campaigning this year Prime Minister Modi and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee took swipes at each other at simultaneous election rallies in Bengal. Banerjee’s party continuously criticized the Election Commission and BJP. Apart from this, PM Modi also mockingly addressed Mamata Banerjee “Didi-O-Didi”, replying to the remark Mamata alleged that the remark has not only insulted her but also Bengal’s women. Mamata was criticized when she got angry at someone chanting ‘Jai Shri Ram’ in her rally.
Before joining full-time politics, Banerjee worked as a stenographer, a primary teacher, a private tutor, and even as a salesgirl. Mamata has completed her graduation in History (Hons) and Master's degree in Islamic History, she also has degrees in Education and Law from the University of Calcutta.
In addition to her political career, Banerjee wrote both in Bengali and English. She has published more than two dozen books, including non-fiction works such as Struggle for Existence (1998) and Slaughter of Democracy (2006), and a volume of poetry. She has also introduced Rabindra Sangeet, songs of Rabindranath Tagore, at traffic lights in Kolkata. Apart from this, she has sold almost 300 works of paintings.