Mamata’s mother rejoices after watching swearing-in liveMay 22nd, 2009 - 11:30 pm ICT by IANS
Kolkata, May 22 (IANS) Seventy-one-year-old Gayetri Banerjee was a proud mother as she watched on television her daughter, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, take oath as a cabinet minister Friday.
“I am extremely happy today. Mamata has been sworn-in as one of the cabinet ministers in the UPA (United Progressive Alliance) government. I wish she meets all the aspirations of the common people of West Bengal and continues to work for them,” Gayetri told IANS in a frail voice.
The septuagenarian was glued to her television set along with her two sons and their family in her small tiled-roofed south Kolkata residence, braving high fever and fragile health.
“Though she had held the railways ministry earlier in the union cabinet, this time it is more important as she represents her party in the Lok Sabha with 19 MPs. Earlier it was just seven.
“I have no demand but I pray that my daughter performs better than the way she did last time as the union railways minister.
Mamata Banerjee was railways minister in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government.
“She has only achieved her mission. She has a long way to go,” Banerjee’s mother said referring to the 2011 Assembly elections in the state.
The Trinamool chief now has her sight focussed on winning the assembly polls two years from now to oust the ruling Left Front from power in West Bengal.
While Banerjee’s younger brothers - Kartik and Ganesh - joined their mother in watching the swearing-in ceremony on TV, the atmosphere outside House no. 30B, Harish Chatterjee Street was festive. Hundreds of Trinamool supporters has gathered on the street burst crackers and held up posters, flags and huge cut-outs in front of the Trinamool supremo’s residence.
They also arranged for a giant screen and projector near the Kalighat temple to screen the swearing-in ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi live.
The excitement of the Trinamool leader being sworn in was visible on the faces of rickshaw-pullers, auto-drivers, small kiosk-owners and many other commoners of south-Kolkata.
“It is a victory of ‘Maa, Mati, Manus’ (mother, motherland and people) so we’re also a part of this victory,” said Debendra Bahera, a fried snacks seller, who owns a small-kiosk near Banerjee’s Kalighat residence.
“I also have a strong connection with this electoral success of Trinamool Congress. I remember I used to send ‘pakoras’ (fried snacks) and puffed-rice to Banerjee’s residence when her party leaders held meetings for hours before the Lok Sabha polls,” he said.
“I am also celebrating it in my own way,” Bahera added.
Around 500 Trinamool Congress activists rejoiced to the beats of drums playing at the Esplanade crossing in central Kolkata when Banerjee was sworn-in.
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Tags: alliance government, assembly elections, bharatiya janata party, cabinet ministers, fragile health, giant screen, harish, high fever, kartik, Lok Sabha, mamata banerjee, national democratic alliance, progressive alliance, proud mother, rashtrapati bhavan, septuagenarian, seventy one, swearing in ceremony, union cabinet, west bengal