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Mamata Banerjee

Mamata Banerjee

Mamata BanerjeeTrinamool Congress

Mamata Banerjee, or Didi as she is fondly referred to, is the current Chief Minister of West Bengal. She is also the president of All India Trinamool Congress (TMC).

Mamata is a woman who has many firsts to her credit. In 2011, she became the first woman to have become the Chief Minister of West Bengal. She became the first woman to become the Minister of Railways, a post she held twice and the first female Minister of Coal.

Born into a Brahmin family in Calcutta (now Kolkata) in West Bengal, she joined politics at the age of 15. She held the post of General Secretary, West Bengal Congress (Indira) between 1979 and 1980 and was Secretary West Bengal Provincial Trade Union Congress. She was elected as a Member of Parliament from Jadavpur Constituency in 1984. She became a member of the National Council in 1987 and a member of the Executive Committee of the Congress Parliamentary Party in 1988. She was re-elected as a Member of Parliament in 1991, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2004 and 2009 from the South Kolkata Parliamentary Constituency.

Mamata rose to prominence after she stood for the rights of the farmers and opposed the erstwhile land acquisition policies for industrialisation of the Communist government in West Bengal for Special Economic Zones at Singur.

By the late 1990s, Mamata felt there was a difference between her ideologies with that of the Congress, which she believed had become a corrupt party. Moving away from the Congress to become a formidable force against the ruling Communist Party of India (CPI-M) in the state, she founded the All India Trinamool Congress in 1997. The party saw limited success in the 1998 and 1999 Lok Sabha polls, but faced a major defeat in the 2004 parliamentary poll. In the 2006 elections, the TMC suffered another blow after it lost half of its sitting members while the communists maintained their stronghold.

Ahead of the 2011 state elections, she launched an aggressive campaign against the CPIM. Owing to her politics and her growing popularity, she bagged more than three-fifths of the seats in the state legislature and ended a nearly 34-year old rule of the Left front.

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