West Bengal: Bolder yet quieter, her ambitions now higher
mamata banerjee, west bengal government, 100 days of government, mamata government, mamata banerjee governent, singur, trinamool congress, nitish kumar, lalu prasad yadav, farooq abdullah, mukul roy, tripura, mamata tripura, Gorkha Mukti Morcha, CPM, left, Surjya Kanta Mishra, indian express news, india news, mamata news Mamata takes oath in May. File photo
When the Trinamool Congress first came to power in 2011, the mandate was against the Left. This time, the sweep was for incumbent Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. And the guests at her swearing-in nearly 100 days ago — from Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad to Farooq Abdullah — showed her ambitions are now national. In this regime, Mamata has looked more confident, if quieter — something that has helped prevent controversies. For instance, after the Park Street gangrape she had issued statements about the victim which drew widespread criticism, but this time a similar incident in Salt Lake hasn’t drawn a statement. Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal knows he has many promises to keep. “The people have a lot of expectations of our government,” he said, as he completed 100 days in government. Hailed by many as jatiya nayak or national hero when his petition led to the Supreme Court striking down the Illegal Migrants (Determination by Tribunals) Act in 2005, Sonowal came to power on the back of three promises — of protecting jati (identity of indigenous people), mati (land) and bheti (homestead) from floods and erosion. Like her previous governments, J Jayalalithaa’s new regime is being lauded for its announcements of social welfare schemes and being blamed for worsening law and order. What has been different is a relatively powerful Opposition, which often clashes directly with the ruling benches. Also, Jayalalithaa has suspended former chief secretary K Gnanadesikan and half a dozen senior IAS officers. It is not yet clear what has soured relations between the government and the top bureaucracy.