Mamata Banerjee, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief, took oath as the chief minister of West Bengal for the third consecutive term on Wednesday. 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.
On the occasion, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter to congratulate Mamata Banerjee.
Congratulations to Mamata Didi on taking oath as West Bengal’s Chief Minister. @MamataOfficial
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 5, 2021
Meanwhile, The Governor said,”Our first priority is to bring an end to the senseless, horrendous post-poll violence…I have every hope that the Chief Minister on an urgent basis will take all the steps to restore the rule of law. I have every hope that the Chief Minister, my younger sister, will rise to the occasion”.”You have to rise above partisan interests. I am sure you will script a new governance pattern,” he added.
“I congratulate Mamata Banerjee for her third term. It is not usual for anyone to win three terms. I hope governance will be according to the constitution and the rule of law. We are in a very difficult crisis,” Mr Dhankhar said.
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.
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.
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.