Mamata Banerjee (মমতা বন্দ্যোপাধ্যায়) the 11th and current Chief Minister
of West Bengal is the first woman to hold the office. Her party Trinamool Congress performed well in the 2009 parliamentary election,
bagging 19 MP seats. Before the 2009 parliamentary elections she forged an alliance with the
United Progressive Alliance (UPA) led by Indian National Congress. The
alliance won 26 seats. Banerjee joined the central cabinet as the railway minister (second tenure). In 2011
Mamata Banerjee pulled off a landslide victory for the TMC in West Bengal
by defeating the world's longest-serving democratically-elected communist government, the Communist Party of
India (Marxist) -led Left Front government, bringing to an end 34 years of Left Front rule in the state.
Mamata Banerjee on September 18, 2012 delivered a stiff blow to the UPA government by
withdrawing her support in protest against the hike in fuel prices and the decision to allow FDI in multi-brand retail, reducing the
regime to a minority. Mamata said her ministers will submit their resignations to the President on Friday after Zumma prayers at 3
pm, unless UPA government to accept the near-rollback of diesel price hike, a 100% hike in the cap on the number of
subsidized LPG cylinders, and putting FDI in multi-brand retail on hold.
Victory for "maa, mati, manush"
The 34-year-old regime of the Left front has finally crumbled. Mamata Banerjee has created history by winning a majority
in West Bengal. In Kolkata, all roads led to Mamta Banerjee's residence in Kalighat on May 16, 2011. "This is a complete victory of democracy. This is a historic verdict.
After 34 years, Bengal has got new freedom," the woman, who brought the Left to its knees in its bastion, told a crowd of thousands that kept cheering her."This is a victory for "maa, mati, manush" (mother, earth, people). I am grateful to the people of Bengal," she said.
"This is a verdict against years of exploitation, agony and oppression." Of all the 294 results declared on Friday, the Trinamool Congress
secured 181 seats while the Congress bagged 42 seats. Two seats went to Trinamool partner, the SUCI.
Defeat of the Left Front in West
Mamata Benerjee impressed West Bengal's poverty-weary citizens with a
call for change. Bengalis wanted their state to prosper like the other states of India. Tired of strikes and lockouts, they rejected the red
symbolism that had burdened them for decades. They were desperate for
some of growing India's shine to rub off on them. People were so fed-up of Left rule that they blamed the Communists for
every malady in Bengal. Left Front rule allowed Bengal to stagnante in agriculture and industry.The Communists made some huge mistakes. They banned computers, saying it would take away jobs. They also banned English in schools, a step that
pushed the state back at least 20 years from where other states stand today. The World Bank in 2009 said Kolkata was the worst major city in
India to do business in. As a result of these blunders, the Bhadralok were fed up with the
administration, and many Bengalis felt that they were not equipped to face the challenges of the 21st century.
Marxist veteran leader Jyoti Basu, the Chief Minister of West Bengal from
1977 to 2000, was India's longest- serving Chief Minister.
On March 14, 2007, 14 villagers were killed in police firing in
Nandigram, the site for a proposed chemical hub in East Midnapore district. Gopal Krishna Gandhi the then governor in a an indictment of the state
government had said, "The news of deaths by police firing in Nandigram
this morning has filled me with a sense of cold horror." The 'recapture' of Nandigram by the CPI(M) from the Trinamool Congress
was to follow, which the Chief Minister was to later justify as 'paid back in their own coin'. Strongly disapproving the 'recapture', Gopal Krishna Gandhi had said
"the manner in which the recapture of Nandigram villages is being attempted is totally unlawful and unacceptable."
When protests in Singur, spearheaded by Trinamool Congress Chief Mamata
Banerjee, gained momentum, the government failed to tackle it. The fallout was that the state government could not retain the Nano
project, and it's vote share.
Mamata Banerjee was born to Promileswar and Gayatri Banerjee on 5 January 1955, in Calcutta (now Kolkata), West Bengal.
She grew up from a lower middle-class family. She graduated with an honours degree in History from the Jogamaya Devi
College , an undergraduate women's college in southern Kolkata Later she earned a master's degree in Islamic History
from the University of Calcutta and a degree in education from the Shri Shikshayatan College
Later, she earned a law degree from the Jogesh Chandra Chaudhuri Law College Kolkata.
She started her political career with Congress(I) , and as a young woman in the 1970s, she quickly rose in the ranks of the
local Congress group, and remained the General Secretary of Mahila Congress (I), West Bengal, from 1976 to 1980. In the 1984 general election , she
became one of India's youngest parliamentarians ever, beating veteran Communist politician Somnath Chatterjee , from the Jadavpur parliamentary Constituency.
She retained the`Kolkata South seat in the 1996 , 1998 , 1999 , 2004 and 2009 general elections
In the Rao government formed in 1991, Mamata Banerjee was made the Union Minister of State
for Human Resources Development , Youth Affairs and Sports and Women and Child Development .
In 1997, Mamata Banerjee came out of the Congress Party in West Bengal and established the All India
Trinamool Congress It quickly became the primary opposition to the long-standing Communist government
in the state. In 1999, she joined the BJP -led National Democratic Alliance
(NDA) government and was allocated the Railways Ministry. In 2000, Mamata Banerjee presented her first Railway Budget.
In early 2001, after making allegations against the BJP, she walked out of the NDA cabinet and allied with the Congress Party for West Bengal
's 2001 elections, amidst speculation that the move could unseat the Communist government. She returned to the cabinet in
January 2004, holding the Ministry of Coal and Mines portfolios until the 2004
Elections, in which she was the only Trinamool Congress member to win a Parliament seat from WB.
In November 2006, Mamata Banerjee was forcibly stopped on her way to
Singur for a rally against a proposed Tata Motors car project. In 2009, Mamata Banerjee became Railway Minister for the second time.
After becoming railway minister for the second time, Mamata Banerjee declared many new initiatives in the Railway Budget 2009, which reflects
Banerjee's clear inclination towards her home state (West Bengal) though eventually she took measures to show her willingness to work for the entire country.
The earlier Left Front government had leased 997.11 acres of land in
Singur to Tata Motors to set up a manufacturing unit for the Nano car. Land from about 13,000 landowners had been acquired for the plant but
about 2,200 of them, with about 400 acres between them, refused to accept compensation.
Mamata Banerjee had promised to return the 400 acres to the unwilling
farmers, and said that Tata Motors could build a factory on the remaining land. The Act, one of the first enacted after Ms Banerjee
became chief minister, empowers the government to return 400 of the nearly 1000 acres leased to Tata Motors at Singur to farmers who had
unwillingly parted with their land.
However, the Tata Motors, which had launched the Nano as a 'people's car' at Rs 100,000 to much fanfare, said it was not possible to build a
factory and ancillaries on 600 acres. Tata Motors in October 2008 shifted the project to Sanand in Gujarat. It also filed a case seeking compensation for their investment of
about Rs1,500 crore in Singur. A single bench of the court had upheld the validity of the Act on September 28, 2011. The Tatas appealed to a
two-judge division bench. In a major win for Tata Motors, the Kolkata High Court on June 22, 2012 ruled that the Singular Land Rehabilitation and Development Act 2011 was
The Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee loses Jadhavpur seat by over 25,000 votes on May 13, 2011
Jyoti Basu, the Chief Minister of West Bengal from 1977 to 2000, was India's longest- serving Chief Minister. He was a member of
the CPI(M) Polit Bureau from the time of the party's founding in 1964 until 2008.
Mamta Banerjee made history on Friday, the 20th May 2011 when she was sworn in as the first woman chief minister of
West Bengal. The 56 -year old leader, who ended the the 34 years reign of the Left in the state recently took oath of office at an
impressive ceremony with 35 minister from Trinamool and 2 from the Congress.
One of her first decisions was to return 400 acres of land to Singur farmers. "The cabinet has decided to return 400 acres to unwilling
farmers in Singur," the chief minister said. She has also been credited to solving the longstanding
"Gorkhaland Problem" by setting up the Gorkhaland Autonomous Council.
She has started various reforms in education and health sectors. Some of
the reforms in the education sectors include release of the monthly pay
of the teachers on the first of every month and quicker pensions for retiring teachers.
However, the challenges Mamata would be facing while running the
government are no less. First among them is to put an end to the bloodletting in the districts. Second is the financial morass that
Bengal is steeped into. These two are a major hurdle to her development vision. And third, Mamata has to tackle the Maoist threat in Jangalmahal
and also the adivasis and Gorkha Janmukti Morcha in the Hills.
Mamata Banerjee's oil painting auctioned in New York for $3000
Purple flowers on a bed of green leaves in acrylic and oil on
canvas by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has been auctioned
in New York for $3000 dollars on October 25, 2012, her first painting to be sold abroad.
With a reserved price of $2500, five bids were made before the painting
titled 'Flower Power' was sold at $3000 to Sundaram Tagore Gallery, a
spokesperson of the US-based NGO Children's Hope India which auctioned
the painting to raise funds for the welfare of underprivileged children
in India, said.
The auction was held at a gala event in New York City to celebrate the
20th anniversary of the NGO. Founded in 1992 by a group of Indian American women professionals, Children's Hope India sponsors health,
education and vocational programmes for thousands of children in India.
Out of about 200 paintings made so far by the Trinamool Congress
supremo, this was the first time her work went abroad. She has held
three exhibitions so far. Trinamool Congress MP Derek O'Brien, who was
also present during the auction, said the NGO had requested the chief
minister to contribute a painting. "Since it was for a good cause she
readily agreed. She painted it two months ago at her office," said the