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Profile: Mamata Banerjee, the most powerful woman in India

“Didi”, as her supporters call her, has been a hugely popular Chief Minister of West Bengal for more than a decade.

Profile: Mamata Banerjee, the most powerful woman in India

“Didi”, as her supporters call her, has been a hugely popular Chief Minister of West Bengal for more than a decade.

Profile: Mamata Banerjee, the most powerful woman in India

“Didi”, as her supporters call her, has been a hugely popular Chief Minister of West Bengal for more than a decade.

Profile: Mamata Banerjee, the most powerful woman in India

“Didi”, as her supporters call her, has been a hugely popular Chief Minister of West Bengal for more than a decade.

West Bengal is one of the few states that stands against the BJP – and Mamata Banerjee, a woman of real integrity, is a rare political leader.

Mamata Banerjee’s supporters call her Didi, or big sister – and, sometimes, “fire goddess”. Her popularity lies in her power to embody both these things at once. She is a wise and caring everywoman, someone the people of Bengal can imagine as a sister or auntie. And she is a strong, charismatic figure who – unlike most other Indian politicians – has enough fire in her to stand up to Narendra Modi.

Banerjee is an example to all young women in India who dream of a career in politics, and has shown the whole country – as well as her own region of West Bengal – that women can be just as successful as men in leadership roles, and that they have the power to create real social change.

She is also an example to other politicians: she does not hoard wealth, nor does she drive around in a limousine, unlike many of today’s political elite. Instead, she still wears a simple white cotton sari and rubber flip-flops. There is nothing ostentatious about her, and she prefers to lead a simple lifestyle.

In the 2021 elections, Banerjee was elected Chief Minister of West Bengal for a third term, and has now held office for ten years. If you happen to live in the region, she’s a familiar face. Yet in the rest of the country, as a result of the BJP’s control of much of the mainstream media, she receives far less press coverage than she deserves.

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