Mamta, whose full name is Mamata Bandyopadhyay, was born on January 5, 1955, in Kolkata, India. She is an Indian politician and a leader serving as a chief minister (aka CM) in Kolkata. Mamta is the 9th chief minister of West Bengal and is currently in power as of 2022. On May 20, 2011, Mamta was named the first female politician in West Bengal. Mamata was first elected as Chief Minister of West Bengal in 2011. Later, she secured her place and continued the role of CM again in 2016 and 2021.
Mamta served the Union cabinet several times in 2011. When she left the Congress (Indian National Congress or INC) party, Mamta created her union group, the All-India-Trinamool Congress (AITC or TMC). Mamta also served as the inaugural chairman in the middle of 2011. She is usually called "Didi", the Bengali term for "older sister". In Kolkata, everyone calls her Didi.
Mamta used to be the first woman to serve as railway minister twice. She was elected two times in railway ministers, and she performed her role successfully. She was also selected as the first female coal minister and the minister of youth affairs, Ministry of sports, women's issues, and child development in the Indian government's cabinet. She rose to fame by opposing the previous West Bengal Communist government's plan for industrialization through land acquisition for Special Economic Zones at the expense of farmers and agriculturalists in Singur. In West Bengal in 2011, Banerjee successfully led the AITC coalition to victory, defeating the Left Party management, which had been led by the Communist Party of India (Marxist) for around 34 years.
From 2011 to 2021, Mamta represented Bhabanipur in the West Bengal Legislative Council. In Assembly elections of 2021, she contested for the Nandigram seat but was defeated by Suvendu Adhikari of the BJP, despite her party winning a sizable majority of seats. Mamta is the third chief minister of West Bengal to lose an election in a home district; Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee did it in 2011, and Prafulla Chandra Sen did so in 1967. Afterwards, Mamata challenged the results of the Nandigram Constituency at the Calcutta High Court, which is currently pending. In the West Bengal assembly election of 2021, she led her party to a stunning victory.
Mamta Banerjee was born in Kolkata on 5 January 1955. Mamta was born in a Hindu Brahmin household in West Bengal's Calcutta (now well-known as Kolkata).
Mamta was raised in a lower-middle-class family and educated at Deshbandhu Sishu Sikshalay in Calcutta. Mamta pursued her graduation from Jogamaya Devi College. After that, Mamta graduated with degrees in teaching from Shri Shikshayatan College and law from Kolkata's Jogesh Chandra Chaudhuri Law College.
Mamta was born to a Bengali Hindu Brahmin family, and her family belonged to the middle-class category. Promileswar Banerjee (father) and Gayetri Devi (mother) were her parents. When Mamta was just a child, her father died due to a lack of medical facilities. Her mother died due to multi-organ failure at the age of 81 in 2011.
Mamta was born to a Bengali Hindu Brahmin family in Calcutta (now called Kolkata) in West Bengal, India. When Mamta was just 17 years old, her father died due to a lack of medical care as her family situation was not good.
Mamta finished her Intermediate exams at Deshbandhu Sishu Sikshalay in 1970. Since childhood, Mamta has always wanted to join politics and has participated in many debates and political activities during her school.
She graduated with a history bachelor's degree from Jogamaya Devi College. She continued to enrol in many debates and political controversies during her college days. Calcutta University later awarded her a master's degree in Islamic history. After that, Mamta also earned a Law degree from Kolkata Jogesh Chandra Chaudhuri Law College.
Mamta joined politics when she was just 15 years old; she enrolled in many debates related to social and religious issues. She built her organization named Chattra while attending Jogamaya Devi College.
During that time, the All India Democratic Students Organization used to be connected to the Socialist Unity Center of India and was defeated by Parishad Unions. She continued to be regularly active in West Bengal's Congress Party, holding several leadership roles both inside the party and in other regional political organizations.
Early Political Life
Political Career with Congress
In the 1970s, Mamta started her political career with the Congress party at a very young age. In 1975, she gained attention in the media when she danced on a social activist car, and political Jaiprakash Narayan protested against her.
Mamta quickly raised and achieved a rank in the local congress group and gained the position of General Secretary of Mahila Congress (Indira) in West Bengal from 1976 to 1980
During the general election held in 1984, Mamta became one of India's youngest parliamentarians by defeating a veteran communist Somnath Chatterjee and winning the Jadavpur parliamentary constituency in West Bengal.
In 1984, Mamta served as the Indian Youth Congress' conventional secretary. However, Malini Bhattacharya defeated Mamta. Additionally, she lost the Communist Party of India's seat in the frequent elections of 1989 due to an anti-Congress wave. She used to be then re-elected in the 1991 result elections and moved into the Calcutta South constituency (particularly, Lok Sabha).
Indian Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao nominated Mamta in 1991 as a Union Minister of State for Human Resource Development, Youth Affairs and Sports, and Women and Child Development. Being the minister of sports, she announced her resignation and held a protest march at the Brigade Parade Ground in Kolkata against the government's disregard for her plan to advance sports in the nation. In 1993, she lost all of her posts and associated rights. She said Congress acted as the puppet of CPI-M (Communist Party of India, 'Marxist') in West Bengal in April 1996. She described herself as the sole voice of reason and the only focused person desiring a "Clean Congress".
The physically challenged girl, Felani Basak, who used to be raped by CPI-M members allegedly, was taken by Banerjee in December 1992 to the Writer's Building and then to Chief Minister Jyoti Basu. However, she was harassed by the police before being imprisoned. At that time, she had decided that she would enter the building again only as the Chief Minister.
On July 21, 1993, the State Youth Congress, under the guidance of Mamata Banerjee, organized a protest march to the Writers Building in Kolkata in opposition to the state's Communist government. To stop CPM's "scientific manipulation", they requested that voter ID cards become the only required document for voting. During the protest, police shot and killed thirteen individuals and injured many peoples. Jyoti Basu, the West Bengal chief minister, responded to this incident by saying, "Police had achieved a remarkable job". At the centre of the 2014 inquiry, Justice (retired) Sushanta Chatterjee, a former Chief Justice of the Orissa High Court, described the police response as "unprovoked and unconstitutional". The commission determined that the situation was worse than the "Jallianwala Bagh Massacre".
Creating the Trinamool Congress (TMC)
Mamta resigned from the congress party in west Bengal in 1998 due to changes in political philosophy. Then, she co-founded the All-India Trinamool Congress with Mukul Roy. This party gained so much attention and became the primary opposition party to the long-standing communist government in the state. In December 1998, she came into the public limelight when she grabbed a Samajwadi Party MP, Daroga Prasad Saroj, and dragged him out of the well of the Lok Sabha by the collar. She did this to prevent him from objecting to the Women's Reservation Bill.
When Mamta Became Railway Minister
Mamta became a member of the Bharati Janta Party in 1999 and grew to be the NDA's leader. She was subsequently chosen as the railway minister in 2000. Mamta unveiled her first railway budget and fulfilled all of her commitments to her own West Bengal. Mamta added the Howrah Purulia Bangla Express, Shalimar-Adra Aranyak Express, Sealdah-New Jalpaiguri Padatik Express, Sealdah-Ajmer Ananya Superfast Express, and 4 other categorical trains in various locations in West Bengal.
Mamta also focused on developing tourism because tourism helps in enhancing the economy. Then, she enabled the Himalaya railway section of Darjeeling, allowing the purchase of two extra locomotives and proposing the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Limited for support. She added that Bangladesh and Nepal would again have train connections and that India should play a vital role in the Trans-Asian Railway.
She and Ajit Kumar Panja resigned from their duties in 2000 to protest against the increase in petrol prices; however, they later denied their resignations without giving a reason.
West Bengal Election held in 2001
Early in 2001, Mamta Banerjee resigned from the NDA cabinet and worked with the Congress Party to compete in West Bengal's elections. She mainly did this to protest the website's corruption charges against senior government ministers, which all occurred after Tehelka's exposure to Operation West End.
Ministry of Coal Mines
In September 2003, she rejoined the NDA administration as a cabinet minister without a specific portfolio. Sudip Banerjee, another Mamata's party member, was appointed to the Vajpayee ministry. She resumed leadership of the Ministry of Coal and Mines on January 9, 2004. The government forbade the sale of the National Aluminium Company during her brief tenure as minister of coal and mines. Coal and Mines were the portfolios she held till May 22, 2004.
Election lost during 2004 to 2006
In 2004 in the Indian general election, Banerjee's party aligned with the Bharatiya Janata party, but the opposition party defeated the association, and Mamta was the only member of the Trinamool Congress to be elected from a West Bengali parliamentary seat.
In 2005, Subrata Mukherjee, the previous mayor of Kolkata, defected from Banerjee's party, and her party lost control of the municipal corporation. In 2006 on 4th August, Banerjee threw her resignation papers at Charanjit Singh Atwal, the deputy speaker of the Lok Sabha. Speaker Somnath Chatterjee's decision to deny her motion for an adjournment over the unlawful entry of Bangladeshis into West Bengal provoked Mamta for that decision.
Movements like Singur, Nandigram, and Others
She demonstrated on October 20, 2005, against the violent land purchase and crimes against local farmers in the name of the Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee administration's industrial development strategy in West Bengal. Benny Santoso, CEO of the Indonesia-based Salim Group, was given property in Howrah by the West Bengal government in exchange for his commitment to making a large investment in the state.
Banerjee and other Trinamool Congress members were barred from entering the Taj Hotel where Santoso had arrived, and they remained outside in the pouring rain. She afterwards followed Santoso's convoy with her followers. Santoso's three-hour early arrival prevented a planned "black flag" protest.
Banerjee was forcibly stopped in November 2006 while travelling to Singur for a rally opposing a planned Tata Motors vehicle plant. Mamta took place at the West Bengal assembly and voiced her disapproval there. She spoke at a news conference during the assembly and declared that her party would be shut down on Friday for 12 hours. The TMC supremo Mamata claimed that the administration had acted "unconstitutionally" by barring her from Singur, where Tata Motors wanted to establish a small car manufacturing. Mamata had been detained by police earlier that day "for violating prohibitory orders" near Singur. At Hooghly, she was spotted and sent back. Following this occurrence, The West Bengal Legislative Assembly Building was destroyed by TMC MLAs, who also broke furniture and electronics equipment.
A big strike was announced on December 14, 2006. Overall, though, there was no gain. On December 4 in Kolkata, Mamta started her historic 26-day hunger strike in protest of the government's forceful land seizure. Then-President A. P. J. Abdul Kalam consulted with then-PM Manmohan Singh to find a solution. Additionally, Kalam urged Ms Banerjee to end her fast, stating that "life is valuable". Manmohan Singh faxed a letter to Gopalkrishna Gandhi, the West Bengal governor at the time, who handed it to Mamata immediately. On December 29, around midnight, Mamata broke her fast after receiving the letter. After being appointed the Chief Minister, according to a 2016 Supreme Court decision, one of her first acts was to return the 400 acres of property of West Bengal to Singur farmers as the Tata Motors complex in Singur was illegal.
The Nandigram protest was an event of Nandigram held in west Bengal that happened in the 2007 year. The large numbers of armed forces and Indian police forces charged the backward areas in the Purba district in Medinipur to stop the protests against the West Bengal government. The protest was started to oppose the government's plans to enhance 10,000 acres, more than 40 km squares of land, to make it a special economic zone (shortly named SEZ) that was supposed to be done by the Indonesian-based Salim group. In this protest, a minimum of 14 villagers died, and more than 70 were injured by the police. Many thinkers took to the streets to protest. During the Nandigram invasions, CPI (M) cadres are accused of sexually assaulting and molestation around 300 women and girls.
To stop what she called "government violence", which was encouraged by the CPI(M) in Nandigram, Mamta wrote a letter to the Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and the Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil. Her landslide victory in 2011 is thought to have been influenced by her political participation throughout the revolution.
The incident's CBI investigation supported the CPI (M) position that Buddhadeb did not give the order for the cops to fire. However, in the past, Buddhadeb Bhattacharya had defended the violence committed in Nandigram by members of his party, claiming that "They (the oppositions) have been paid back in the same coin". On April 15, Ms Banerjee responded to claims that some local TMC leaders were complicit in the Nandigram tragedy during a live interview with ABP Ananda.
Election results from 2009 to 2011
When the parliamentary elections in 2009 did not occur, Banerjee associated with the united progressive alliance (UPA), announced by the Indian national congress. The union won more than 26 seats, and the Mamta joined the central cabinet as the railway minister in their second tenure. Later on, in the municipal election held in 2010 in West Bengal, TMC won the Kolkata municipal election with around sixty-two seats. Following Banerjee's victory in the 2011 election for the state's chief minister of West Bengal, which she won with massive Votes, TMC also won the Vidhan Nagar corporation with more than 6 seats. Her party ended the 34-year reign of the Left Front.
With 19 seats in the 2009 legislative elections, Trinamool Congress did well. Since the beginning of the Left's administration in West Bengal, the Left's allies in Congress and SUCI, whichever won six and one seat, have carried out higher than any opposition party.
Minister of Railways (second term), 2009-2011
Mamta Banerjee was elected as the railway minister for the second time in 2009. She was focused on introducing numerous non-stop Duronto Express trains linking major cities and additional passenger trains, including trains for women only.
During her administration, the Jammu-Baramulla line's Anantnag-Qadigund section, which had been in the works since 1994, was officially opened.
Mamta became the chief minister of West Bengal after leaving her position as the railway minister. Mamta said, "It will go well the way I am quitting the railways. Rest assured that my successor will have my full backing". She was succeeded as minister of railways by Dinesh Trivedi, her party's nominee.
Later, Banerjee's tenure as railway minister was questioned because most of the significant announcements she made while holding the position saw little to no development. According to Reuters, "Her two years as railway minister have drawn harsh criticism for pushing the system deeper into debt to pay for populist policies like extra passenger trains". During her two-year tenure, the Indian Railways started to lose money.
When Mamta became the Chief Minister of Bengal
The incumbent Left Alliance was defeated in the 2011 election for the West Bengal legislative assembly by the All India Trinamool Congress, SUCI, and the INC, who also secured 227 seats. The INC won 42 seats, followed by the SUCI with one, and TMC had 184 seats. The consequence ended the longest-ruling democratically elected Communist party in history.
On May 20, 2011, in Kolkata's Raj Bhavan, Mamta Banerjee, as chief minister, accepted the oath of allegiance administered by M. K. Narayanan, the governor.
The chief minister announced, "The government has resolved to return 400 acres to farmers in Singur". She also included, "I've told the department to get the papers ready for this. The remaining 600 acres can be used for Tata-plant babu's if he chooses; if not, we will figure out how to proceed".
She started several reforms in the health and education fields. The two improvements in the education field were the disbursement of teachers' monthly payments on the first of each month and speedier pensions for departing teachers. In the sphere of health, Banerjee promised that "a three-phase developmental scheme would be taken up to boost the health infrastructure and service". On April 30, 2015, a representative of UNICEF India commended the administration for designating Nadia as the nation's first district free of open defecation. In a statement on October 17, 2012, Banerjee blamed "increased unrestricted interaction between men and women" for the country's rising rape rate. She remarked, "Earlier, men and women used to touch hands, but today everything is so open. Parents would catch them and punish them. It resembles an open market with available options". She received criticism for these views in the national media.
She also played a crucial role in the suspension of FDI in the retail sector while a consensus was being developed and the rollback of the increases in gasoline prices. The Kolkata Police now control the whole territory of the Kolkata "Municipal Corporation".
Banerjee had demonstrated a strong commitment to educating the public about the state's history and culture. She has given several metro stations in Kolkata the names of liberation fighters, and she hopes to give future stations the names of religious figures, writers, musicians, and others. Mamata Banerjee has been criticized for establishing contentious imam stipends (Iman Bhatta), which the Calcutta High Court declared unlawful.
In a letter to the West Bengal government dated February 16, 2012, Bill Gates of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation commended Banerjee and her team for managing to spend an entire year without any confirmed cases of polio. The letter said that this was a turning point not just for India but for the entire world.
Activities performed by Banerjee other than Politics
Mamta Ji is a good politician, but apart from that, she is also a famous poet; Mamta wrote several books. She is also awarded by Paschimbanga Bangla Akademi for Kobita Bitan, which consists of more than 900+ poems.
Mamta was also a good painter, and her painting was also auctioned many times. Mamta also wrote some Bengali music lyrics, most of which are based on Durga Puja and Motherland.
A Bengali movie Baghini was based on Mamta Banerjee's life and released on 24 May 2019 but it is not a biopic.
Mamata Banerjee's "TWISTED" comment that "Don't lend HOUSEWIFE to anyone, If GIVEN..." reasons big controversy
At a book festival ten years ago, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee proposed a solution. She recommended the opposition not lend a spouse or books to anyone, and no refund is possible if granted. That received an exceptional deal of criticism in kingdom politics.
Mamata Banerjee on the 'Kali' Controversy: 'People Make Mistakes But They Can Be Resolved'
Mamata Banerjee, the TMC leader in West Bengal, made these remarks in response to a dispute surrounding a statement made by Mahua Moitra, a member of her party, against the goddess Kali.
According to Mahua, it is totally OK for her to view Goddess Kali "as a meat-eating and alcohol-accepting goddess".
"For instance, when the people of Bhutan and Sikkim perform puja in their state, they offer whisky to their god. Now, if each person travels to Uttar Pradesh and claims that you offer whisky as the prasad to your god, they will accuse you of blasphemy". Mamta's support on such a controversial comment by Mahua was criticized by the people throughout the nation.