Mamata Banerjee, the powerful daughter of former President Chun Abdulrahman, has become the most popular leader of a party that threatens to unseat the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) in upcoming elections. The NDC is the ruling party in Pakistan, which for 14 years has governed the country with an iron fist. Mamata Banerjee’s star has risen sharply in the last two months since she was named as the party’s candidate for PM. A leader who has led her party to victory after leading her party to unprecedented landslides in local polls, she commands fierce loyalty from people who once dismissed her as a dream candidate for PM. Many political analysts believe that Banerjee will easily win the election, and could even lead her party into government.
Like her mother, Mamata Banerjee is originally from Gujrat, a city in central India. But she also has a personal connection with the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. At one time, Singh jokingly suggested that she be given the premiership instead of him. Since then, Mamata has been working on strengthening her ties with the current PM.
Even before she became a PM’s daughter, she had managed to become a popular political figure in India and abroad for her refreshing style of leadership and her non-secular, democratic views. In fact, some say that her approach towards religion is more Islamic than conservative. Even when Banerjee’s own party tried to curb her passion for religion, she has not stopped professing her Hindu faith. She is known to visit the temple frequently, despite criticism from within her party.
In India, however, the right-wing fringe has always been skeptical about any connection between religion and politics. The question many have been asking is whether or not Banerjee is using her position as a PM’s daughter to get closer to her Hindu religious father. Some people say that this is part of a strategy to distance herself from her father and divert attention from the anti-BJP agenda in India at a time when the government is working hard to counter the Left and Right. Others say that she is simply using her public platform to promote Hindu causes. It could be both.
No matter what happens in the coming elections, it is safe to say that Mamata Banerjee has become a very powerful presence in Indian politics today. Even in states where there is no opposition, like in Bihar, where she is the most popular politician, she seems to enjoy strong support from a section of people who consider themselves her followers. She has even managed to corner the transport industry with her policies. The success of her show in West Bengal is perhaps due to the fact that the state is suffering a severe drought and the transport sector is stuck with dead horses. But other than that, people simply cannot ignore her.
Mamata Banerjee has already proven that she can achieve the same feat as Indira Gandhi did. If she is able to consolidate her base in Bengal and sweep the rest of the states in the north-west, she will soon become a formidable opponent for the PM in Delhi. Will she manage to dislodge him from power? Only time will tell. One thing is for sure…Mamata Banerjee Bharati is the new face of Indian politics.