Mamata time for West Bengal after 34 years of Left rule

Written by: Biswajeet Panda
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Mamata Banerjee
Kolkata, May 13: It has finally happened in West Bengal. For the first time in 34 years, the state will see a non-Left government and the woman who has managed to do the unthinkable is the very temperamental Mamata Banerjee aka Didi.

The margin of victory that Mamata has secured is a reflection of something more serious than just an anti-incumbency factor. It seems to appear as if the whole of West Bengal, swayed to her war-cry of Maa, Mati Manush and brought to an end the longest serving government in a democratic set-up.

Winning 215 seats in a 294-seat Assembly, is no mean feat and the fact that that is was done while being in the opposition makes it even more credible. If one takes into the number of seats her party had won last-time around (30 seats), the improvement in numbers are humongous.

Mamata, who is most certainly going to be the chief minister will not only have to relinquish the Union Railway Minister's post and seek election to the state assembly(she did not contest in these poll) but also has to address a plethora of problems. Under her, West Bengal will seek to give wings to a host of its dreams and why not, it is after almost two generations that the state will see a non-communist government.

There is no doubt that Mamata worked hard, in fact worked very hard to reach here and her oratory skills coupled with the alleged excesses committed by the Left coalition gave her the elevation needed to overthrow a government that had stayed long enough to be a part of the people's psyche. But she has now a tough task at hand as being the Chief Minister of West Bengal, one that is more demanding than the Railway ministry, especially given her record at the Rail Bhavan and also the fact that she will be the first non-communist chief minister of the state in 34 years.

Mamata will soon realise the transfer from Rail Bhavan to Writers building is no mean task as her every move will be intently watched and she would do good to keep aside her temperamental image and work for the welfare of the state.

People in West Bengal will expect the same sort of relentlessness during her tenure as the chief minister as she did to overthrow the Left Government. Anything short of that intensity and approach will not only ensure that she is not re-elected as the chief minister next time around but also further accentuate her image as a power-hungry person.

Irrespective of her public persona as someone extremely biased towards her home state during her tenure as the Railway Minister, she still has a largely clean image and if she manages to maintain in the minds of Bengalis her love for West Bengal, then half the task is done. That in itself can pose a serious professional challenge to her as the demands for a separate Gorkhaland is likely to intensify once she assumes power.

There is also the issue of development, that will haunt her throughout her tenure as the chief minister of West Bengal. And with the sort of numbers she has got in the Assembly, the local population will only expect her to shed the conservativeness and be aggressive to ring in development. Its an irony that the state, which was once at the forefront of cultural and technical leadership is now languishing with no real contemporary achievement to boast of.

Challenges are aplenty and if she continues with the kind of grit that has brought her power, then there is no reason why she can't push forward West Bengal to the hierarchy of developed states in India.

For the Left, the loss will surely be a time for introspection. It will also be a time when they have to look for new leadership in the state and as the situation is now, the stocks appear empty. If it is serious about returning to power in West Bengal, then it has act out of its skin and work for the overall improvement of the state than their strongholds(if any are still left) alone.

But for the moment, it is Mamata who is the cynosure of all eyes and she truly deserves every moment of the glory that has fall upon her due to her sheer hard work and determination to ring in a change in West Bengal political landscape.

OneIndia News

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