Kolkata: Elated with landslide victory that pulverised the 34 year-old Left Front rule in West Bengal, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee on Friday said the winning coalition would provide good governance and an impartial administration.

"The priority of the new government would be to restore people's democratic rights and provide good governance and impartial administration, free from politicisation," she told journalists at her residence here.

Banerjee said she will formulate a land policy which will work both for industry and agriculture. "I will urge the Centre to ensure an uniform policy so that farmers get
their proper rights."

"Today is a festival of democracy. I am thankful to the Election Commission. People this time could vote fearlessly as in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls. In 2004 when I was
the only TC MP in Lok Sabha there were atrocities on our people," she said.

Mamata said, "I have no family of my own, except Ma, Mati, Manush (Mother, Land and people). I have been fighting for the last 34 years. There was no development in Bengal under Left rule, rather they politicised everything."

Claiming that the Left Front government had totally failed, Banerjee reiterated her old charge that there was state-sponsored terrorism during its rule.

"I respect the Leftists, but the Left Front deviated from the Left ideology and pursued its so called Leftism which was not liked by the people. In fact, they (CPI-M) did not allow people to vote.

"The Left Front was a government of the Marxists, for the Marxists and by the Marxists," she said. Claiming that 75,000 people were killed in the 34 years of Left rule in the state, Banerjee said Union Home Minister P Chidambaram had described the situation in West Bengal as a 'killing field'. "We want to restore normalcy and my priority will be to give back people their democratic rights."

To a question, she said Trinamool Congress is a disciplined party and will not indulge in any act of violence. "I will tackle the situation and I expect them (Left parties) to act responsibly."

"It is also my duty to restore rights of the farmers and the landless labourers," she said briefly touching on her movement in Singur and Nandigram.

"I thank the people for this victory. I am a commoner and will continue remain a commoner," Banerjee said.

To a question on the outgoing Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, she said "I wish him long life and we want cooperation from the LF in running the government."

Hasina congratulates Mamata
 
Meanwhile, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina congratulated Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee for her party's win in the West Bengal Assembly polls.

"Sheikh Hasinaji called me and congratulated us on behalf of the people of Bangladesh," Banerjee told newspersons.

"I told her our relations have been since the time of Bangabandhu (Mujibur Rahman) and told her that we will work together for betterment," she said.
"I quoted from Rabindranath Tagore's 'Amar Sonar Bangla Ami Tomay Bhalobashi' and told her that both Bangladesh and West Bengal will flourish," she said.

Mamata: A street-fighting politician

The feisty 56-year-old Banerjee, who is the founder and chairperson of the Trinamool Congress which she set up in 1998 after falling out with the Congress Party in West Bengal,
can now have the satisfaction of a victorious General seeing all the war plans fall into place.

Fondly known as ‘Didi’, Banerjee has been a tough Opposition for the CPI (M)-led Left Front over the past 23 years.

Earned the reputation of being a street fighting politician, she came to limelight by blocking Jayaprakash Narayan’s convoy by throwing herself on the ground when he came to Kolkata to organise the masses against Indira Gandhi before Emergency.

The seven times MP, however, has successfully sold the vision of development, cashing in on the deep resentment among the middle classes and unemployed youths, promising jobs and development.

Her simple look of cotton sarees, jhola bags and hawai chappals endeared her to the masses.
It has not been an easy journey though for the current Union Railway Minister who turned her call for 'Parivartan' (change) into a reality with ally Congress throwing its full weight behind her. But her energy, charisma and political astuteness made Banerjee one of the few mass leaders in the country.

Banerjee, when 29, shot to limelight by pulling off a stunning victory over CPI-M heavyweight and now expelled party leader Somnath Chatterjee in the 1984 Lok Sabha elections in the Jadavpur constituency to become one of the youngest MPs.

Daughter of freedom fighter Promileswar Banerjee, she entered politics by joining the Chhatra Parishad, the student wing of Congress, while studying at the Jogmaya Debi College in Kolkata in the 1970s.

Graduating to party politics, Mamata was general secretary of the West Bengal Mahila Congress in 1979-80 and subsequently held other posts in Congress.

However, she lost her seat in an anti-Congress wave in 1989. She was back in the Lok Sabha in 1991 from Kolkata South and also won the subsequent elections in 1996, 1998,1999, 2004 and 2009 from the same constituency.

Banerjee's first tryst with the corridors of power came in 1991 when she became became Union Minister of state for Human Resources Development, Youth Affairs and Sports and Women and Child Development in the P V Narasimha Rao government.

But in 1996, she fell out with the Congress, calling it a 'stooge of CPI-M'. Two years later, she formed the Trinamool Congress and quickly emerged as the dominant opposition party.
In 1998 and 1999, Banerjee's party won eight and seven seats in the Lok Sabha polls respectively and joined hands with the BJP, seen in party circles as a disastrous move in hindsight.

During NDA rule under the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government, Banerjee was Railway Minister in 1999 and for Coal and Mines in 2004. She was also a Union Minister without portfolio for a brief period in 2003-04.

She quit as Railway Minister and NDA in early 2001 in the wake of the Tehelka expose into defence deals to ally with Congress for the assembly elections in West Bengal, but could make no headway against the Marxists.

Banerjee had to eat humble pie and return to the NDA and the Vajpayee cabinet in January 2004 to become Coal and Mines minister till the 2004 election. In 2004, her party MP tally plummeted to one—just herself.

Two years later, in the assembly election, Trinamool was routed, ending up with just 30 seats.
A relentless fighter against the CPIM, Banerjee never gave up and bided her time. Her opportunity came when Nandigram and Singur exploded on the national scene. Since then it has been a story of her continuous rise.

In November, 2006, Banerjee was stopped on her way to Singur in Hooghly district for a rally against the Tata Motors Nano car project, which was a turning point in the long-drawn agitation there with the Trinamool chief demanding that 400 acre of the around 1000 acre acquired be returned to farmers who were unwilling to part with their land.

Banerjee also went on a fast for 25 days on a makeshift dais at busy Esplanade in Kolkata in protest against land acquisition at Singur, but called it off on December 28 following an appeal from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

But this did not resolve the problem at Singur and the agitation there started with renewed vigour under Banerjee. Ultimately, the Tatas drove out of Singur in 2008.

When the agitation against land acquisition was on at Singur, the West Bengal police fired on protestors on March 14, 2007 killing 14 people at Nandigram in East Midnapore district where the state government wanted to set up a Petroleum, Chemical and Petrochemical Investment Region (PCPIR) on farmland.

Banerjee took full advantage of the acquisition scare among the minorities in rural areas and her declared stand against special economic zones endeared her to a section of traditional Left Front supporters, who did not like hobnobbing with big capital.

With her 'Ma-Mati-Manush' slogan, she hijacked the issues dear to the Left supporters -- pension, the insurance and banking sector, privatisation, land acquisition in Nandigram and Singur, Rizwanur Rahman's death and the Sachar Commission report.

Banerjee played her cards so well that she won over certain sections that were gunning for her till the other day. She was wooed by industrialists and even Left parties.

A staunch Left-wing party like SUCI, which has bases in pockets of Bengal, is now an ally of Trinamool Congress. They helped give a direction to Banerjee's brand of politics, which hitherto had a one-point agenda of blind opposition to the CPI-M.

(JPN/Agencies)