Mamata Banerjee hogs limelight in West Bengal

Mamata Banerjee

She courted controversy again, this time with Press Council of India chairman Markandey Katju. What caused Banerjee to flare up was a letter that Press Council of India chairman Katju wrote to her, suggesting she would lose power if she did not change.

Katju had also written a letter to her seeking action against policemen, who arrested Jadavpur University professor Ambikesh Mahapatra and farmer Shiladitya Chowdhury, the first for circulating a cartoon of the Chief Minister and the second for questioning her policies.

During the year, she acknowledged that her only failure is not being able to return land taken to unwilling farmers in Singur for the Tata Motors project. So the state government announced that farmers, who did not take compensation would be given Rs 1,000 a month which was doubled to Rs 2000 later and rice at Rs 2 a kg till the matter is settled in court.

The year saw the restoration of peace in the troubled Darjeeling hills with the swearing-in of Gorkha Territorial Administration. The Darjeeling hills have been on the boil in recent years, with a series of agitations and bandhs called by the GJM.

Mamata held a number of meetings to convince industry captains about her industrial and land acquisition policies while projecting the state as an attractive investment destination.

Amitabh Bachchan inaugurated the 18th Kolkata Film Festival in November at the request of Mamata. Last year, Shah Rukh Khan had done the honours. Mamata personally called up the Big B and asked him to grace the festival.

The year saw Trinamool Congress leaderships grappling with the revolt by its party leaders. Ending his defiance and bringing to a close five-day drama after he incurred the wrath of TMC for hiking passenger fares in the Railway Budget, Dinesh Trivedi resigned as railway minister.

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