Kolkata: It was 10 in the morning. The convoy of Chief Minister left her residence at Kalighat and reached Raj Bhawan in 10 minutes. Like every other day, she sat by the side of the driver but the normal scenario of people standing by the side of the road to have a glimpse of the beloved Mamata Banerjee (fondly known as Didi) was missing because she had requested everybody to stay indoors. The entire street was decorated with blue-white -- the colour combination branded by Trinamool Congress and large boards- highlighting the party's theme song - 'Khela Hobe' (We will play).
Bengal’s Tigress was escorted by her nephew Abhishek Banerjee and poll policymaker Prashant Kishore reached Raj Bhawan.
Trinamool Congress (TMC) Chief Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday took oath as the Chief Minister of West Bengal for her third consecutive term after winning the high-stakes West Bengal Assembly Elections 2021 on Sunday. The oath-taking ceremony was a low-key event in which chief ministers of other states and leaders of other political parties were not invited. Mamata exchanged pleasantries with the guest that included the Trinamool hierarchy during the ceremony.
Speaking to the media after Didi said, “I shall start my work from today only. I’ll go to Nanbanna and do a high-level meeting on the COVID situation. We need to review the situation and some measures will be announced. We hope we will be able to control the situation.”
"I would also like to take this opportunity to appeal to all people and workers of all political parties to maintain peace and harmony. Bengal has a culture and we should not forget that” she added.
As soon as she took the oath, Didi announced that handling the situation of COVID-19 in the state and tackling post-poll violence and the overall law and order situation in the state will be her top priority. Here we take a look at the challenges Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will face in Bengal:
The biggest challenge in this list is the inclining trend of COVID-19 infection in West Bengal which seems to be out of control. The first and foremost challenge for Didi as a Chief Minister is to restrict the further spread.
West Bengal on Tuesday registered its highest single-day deaths of 107 COVID patients taking the toll to 11,744, according to the state health department. Ramping up the vaccination process is one of the biggest challenges in front of the CM as currently, only two private hospitals started inoculation on Tuesday. In April, West Bengal announced that the government is planning to set up 55 oxygen plants at state-run hospitals treating COVID-19 patients as many of them are losing their lives amid a shortage of oxygen.
Unemployment is a vital issue in West Bengal and Mamata was blamed in the past few years for not addressing this issue as seriously as it has to be. According to the rising unemployment graph in the state, the rate of unemployment in West Bengal has reached 6.7 per cent. After being sworn in as Chief Minister of West Bengal, Mamata will chalk out the plan to eliminate unemployment.
Last but not least. The Opposition BJP has managed to win 77 Assembly seats in Bengal and the saffron party has emerged as the second-largest political party in West Bengal. In the high-stakes 294-seat state election, the Trinamool Congress recorded its best performance ever, winning or leading in 216 seats and snaring a vote share of 48 per cent, as Bengal shrugged off allegations of ‘cut money’ and corruption razed by the Opposition against the incumbent. Even though BJP has lost vote share since, the mandate has reconfirmed that the battle of Bengal is now completely bipolar – between the BJP and the Trinamool.
The results were a bitter let down for the BJP as Prime Minister Narendra Modi had risked his prestige in declaring his party was set to win over 200 seats. But they will not let it go. They will sit in the Opposition and will keep a tab on how Didi fails to run the state. For the first time, Mamata will get a tough challenge from the organised opposition in the form of the BJP.