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As Mamata Banerjee revisits her signature dharnas, here’s a look at the maverick CM’s past tactics

Sit-in protests had been Mamata Banerjee’s signature style of dissent, right from her stint as a youth wing leader to her time as the face of Opposition in West Bengal.

February 04, 2019 / 05:57 PM IST
Mamata Banerjee_TMC

Mamata Banerjee_TMC

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s march to the Metro Channel on Sunday night to start a dharna protesting the misuse of central agencies by the Narendra Modi government marks her return to the use of gung-ho political tactics. This was the same venue where Mamata had held a hunger strike while protesting the forcible land acquisition for the Singur small car factory in 2006.

The streets of Bengal bear testimony to the state’s incumbent Chief Minister’s endless dharnas. Sit-in protests have been Mamata Banerjee’s signature style of dissent, right from her stint as a youth wing leader to her time as the face of Opposition in West Bengal.

While the Singur protests in 2006, which were instrumental in catalysing the process of making Didi the CM of Bengal, are among the most popular of her stories of political vendetta, they aren’t the only one.

Banerjee first came to limelight when she blocked Jayaprakash Narayan's convoy by throwing herself on the ground when he came to Kolkata to organise the masses against Indira Gandhi before Emergency.

In 1993, Banerjee, then a Youth Congress leader, had barged into Writers’ Buildings and sat in front of the chamber of then CM Jyoti Basu demanding justice for an alleged rape victim. The dharna ended with the police dragging her by the hair and eventually locking her up.

Close
The ongoing dharna comes after a rather long hiatus of 13 years, that too at a time, when the political scenario in the country is at the tense most. Apart from uniting the otherwise shaky grand alliance once again, the dharna could also propel Mamata to her erstwhile popularity as the face of dissent.
Jagyaseni Biswas
first published: Feb 4, 2019 04:08 pm

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