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Mamata Banerjee wins Bhabanipur bypoll, to continue as West Bengal CM

Kolkata (West Bengal) : Bhabanipur gave its verdict for Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo Mamata Banerjee as she won a resounding victory in the Assembly bypoll by a record margin of over 58,000 votes against her nearest rival Priyanka Tibrewal of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) thus making Banerjee a member of the state Legislative Assembly and will allow her to continue as Chief Minister of the West Bengal.

She won with a margin of over 85263 votes, a record margin so far. Meanwhile, Priyanka Tibrewal secured 26,428 votes, as per the Election Commission of India.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had lost to BJP’s Suvendu Adhikari in the Nandigram constituency in the assembly elections held earlier this year. The Bhabanipur assembly seat was vacated by the West Bengal Agriculture Minister Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay in May, paving the way for Mamata Banerjee to contest the bypoll.

Born on January 5, 1955, Mamata started her political career as a Youth Congress worker in the 1970s. She quickly rose to the ranks and became the general secretary of Mahila Congress and later All India Youth Congress.

In 1984, she was elected as a member of parliament in the 8th Lok Sabha becoming one of the country’s youngest parliamentarians. She founded the All India Trinamool Congress in 1997 after a disagreement with Congress.

She worked with three Prime Ministers including PV Narasimha Rao, Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Dr Manmohan Singh. She had been a Union Minister in both National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and United Progressive Alliance (UPA) governments and held portfolios like Human Resource Development, Youth Affairs and Sports, Women and Child Development, Coal and Mines and the Railways.

Mamata became the Chief Minister of West Bengal for the first time in 2011 by ending the 34-year-long CPI(M) regime, one of the longest-serving elected governments in the world.

Notably, she was the first woman to become a railway minister in the country. Time Magazine named her among the 100 most influential people in the world in 2012.

Hailing from a lower-middle-class family, Mamata worked as a milk booth vendor to battle poverty. Her father passed away due to the lack of treatment when she was just 17. However, she continued her education and earned a Bachelor’s degree in History, a Master’s degree in Islamic History and degrees in Education and Law from the University of Calcutta.

She also worked as a stenographer and a private tutor before joining full-time politics. She still lives in her ancestral terracotta-tiled roof house at Kolkata’s Harish Chatterjee Street despite being the chief minister. White cotton sarees having mono-coloured borders and slippers are all that define the fashion statement of Mamata.

She is also a self-taught painter, poet and writer. She has authored more than 100 books.

With Congress now struggling to make a comeback into national politics, many opposition leaders are now looking at Mamata to lead in the anti-BJP fight in the coming days.