Mamata Banerjee: Timeline of an intrepid politician

May 20th, 2011 - 2:40 pm ICT by IANS  

Mamata Banerjee Kolkata, May 20 (IANS) It was the single minded pursuit for power that saw Mamata Banerjee battle the odds to take over as West Bengal’s first woman chief minister after 34 years of the Left Front rule. A timeline of important events in the life of one of India’s most powerful politicians:

Jan 5, 1955: Mamata Banerjee born in Kolkata to Promileshwar and Gayatri Banerjee.

1976 to 1980: Banerjee serves as West Bengal Mahila Congress general secretary.

1984: She defeats veteran Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader Somnath Chatterjee from Jadavpore Lok Sabha constituency to become one of India’s youngest MPs. Appointed All India Youth Congress general secretary.

1989: Loses to Malini Bhattacharya from Jadavpore.

1991: Again becomes Lok Sabha member by defeating CPI-M’s Biplab Dasgupta from Calcutta South constituency. Retains the seat in 1996, 1998. 1999, 2004 and 2009.

August 1989: Banerjee sustains head injury after being beaten up allegedly by CPI-M goons during a protest rally at Hazra Crossing in South Kolkata.

1991: Becomes minister of state for human resource development, youth affairs and women and child development in the Narasimha Rao government.

July 21, 1993: Thirteen Youth Congress supporters shot dead by police as they march towards Writers Buildings, led by Banerjee. They were demanding voter identity cards to be made sole documents for voting.

July 1996: Despite being a minister, squats in the well of the Lok Sabha to protest petrol price hike.

February 1997: Throws her shawl at then Railway Minister Ram Vilas Paswan for ‘ignoring’ West Bengal in Railway Budget and announces her resignation.

Dec 22, 1997: Banerjee quits the Congress and announces formation of the All India Trinamool Congress in Kolkata.

Jan 1, 1998: Trinamool Congress formally comes into existence.

1998 and 1999: Fights Lok Sabha polls by sharing seats with the BJP.

1999: Trinamool Congress joins the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government at the centre and Banerjee becomes railway minister.

March 2001: Quits the NDA and forms alliance with the Congress for the state assembly elections. Left Front gets 199 seats, and the Trinamool-Congress alliance 86.

August 2001: Returns to the NDA.

January 2004: Becomes coal and mines minister. Trinamool performs poorly in the Lok Sabha polls with only winning a seat from West Bengal.

May 2006: Trinamool Congress-BJP alliance humbled in state assembly polls. Left Front gets 233 seats, and Trinamool-BJP 30.

November 2006: Banerjee forcibly stopped on her way to Singur for a rally against a proposed Tata Motors car project at Singur in Hooghly district and calls a 12-hour shutdown in the state. Trinamool Congress MLAs damage furniture and microphones in the West Bengal Assembly.

December 2006: Banerjee stages 25-day hunger strike at Metro Channel in city hub, demanding return of land forcibly acquired from unwilling farmers of Singur.

March 14, 2007: Fourteen villagers killed in police firing at Nandigram in East Midnapore district while protesting against West Bengal government’s plans to acquire land for a chemical hub to be developed by the Indonesia-based Salim Group.

Nov 14, 2007: Eminent intellectuals in Bengal take out a silent rally along with Trinamool leaders in Kolkata to protest Nandigram killings.

May 2008: Trinamool Congress wrests East Midnapore and South 24 Parganas Zilla Parishads from Left Front. The party also sweeps the polls in Nandigram and Singur.

2009: Congress and Trinamool Congress fights the Lok Sabha elections jointly. Congress-Trinamool alliance grabs 26 seats out of 42 in West Bengal. Banerjee becomes railway minister.

June 2010: Trinamool Congress snatches Kolkata Municipal Corporation.

March 18, 2011: Banerjee announces tie-up with the Congress for the crucial Bengal Assembly polls.

May 13, 2011: Banerjee leads her Trinamool Congress and allies to historic victory by winning 227 seats in the 294-member house.

May 20, 2011: Banerjee sworn in as chief minister of West Bengal.

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