From her early days in politics to now when she has been the Chief Minister of West Bengal since 2011, Mamata Banerjee has been known for her dynamic style. ‘Didi’, as she is fondly called across the country, is forever seen clad in an inexpensive cotton sari and rubber slippers. However, she has most often been highly eccentric in how she carries herself in the political sphere.
An agitated Mamata on Thursday stayed at her office overnight protesting against Army deployment at a toll plaza near Nabanna. Claiming it to be an emergency-like situation, Mamata locked herself up in her office refusing to leave until Army is removed from toll plazas across the state.
It’s not the first time that she is in news due to her protests. She has often faced criticism for her style of protests. Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson Siddharth Nath Singh even called her “Maverick Mamata” claiming that she seems to be “suffering from mental imbalance”. He also went a step further by suggesting the TMC to take her to a hospital.
Here are five times when Mamata gave us a glimpse of how eccentric she is in politics:
1) Mamata in Lok Sabha: In When her request to raise the subject of illegal Bangladeshi migration was turned down in Lok Sabha in August 2005, Banerjee threw her resignation papers towards the Speaker’s podium. Not just that, she dramatically exited the House by screaming and later handing over her resignation to the Deputy Speaker.
2) When Mamata fractured her head: Those who would have followed Bengal politics would remember a picture when a man was clicked while trying to strike a blow on Mamata. The then Congress member, Banerjee was leading a rally on Hazra Road when CPM workers attacked them. Lathis were hurled from all sides and Mamata got under one of them. She fractured her skull and fought for life at a city hospital for a month.
3) When Mamata broke away from Congress: It was in April 1996 that she claimed that Congress was acting at the behest of CPI (M) in West Bengal. She stuck to her demand to “clean Congress” but later in 1997, she broke away from the party to form her own All India Trinamool Congress.
4) Nandigram protests: Mamata’s election campaign ‘Ma Mati Manush’ played a huge role in toppling the Left government and seating her at the top spot in West Bengal. In 2007, Trinamool Congress led by Mamata staged a blockade, held protests and strikes against the establishment of a chemical hub (SEZ) at Nandigram in East Midnapore district. She held fort after clashes between police, ruling party members and villagers left more than 14 people dead and many more injured in Nandigram.
5) When Mamata put a break on Tata Motors’ dream: When Tata Motors started constructing a factory to manufacture their Nano car at Singur it faced massive opposition from the displaced farmers. Mamata supported the farmers and in November 2006, she was forcibly stopped on her way to Singur for a rally against the project. She protested at the state assembly and announced a 12-hour shutdown by her party. TMC MLAs even went ahead and threw furniture and microphones in the West Bengal Assembly.