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May 20, 2013 at 08:41am IST

Two years in office: Did Mamata squander the overwhelming mandate that voters gave her?

Kolkata: After two years of rule, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee appears to have squandered the overwhelming mandate voters gave her, but as West Bengal gears up for panchayat polls, it seems that the TMC has the advantage as the Left is yet to regroup.

Rattled by the Saradha meltdown and a spate of suicides, Trinamool faces the uphill task of addressing cries of lakhs of anguished investors and agents. With allegations of Trinamool patronage to the ponzi scamsters, Mamata's only advantage is that the Left in disarray.

"There is no major challenge to Trinamool. CPM hasn't got its act together in Bengal, it is true that collapse of ponzi schemes particularly Saradha has created a crisis," TMC MP Saugata Ray.

Mamta's two years in power has been of intolerance. Shiladitya Chowdhury, a farmer was arrested for daring to ask Mamta Banerjee a question. Ambikesh Mahapatra, a Jadavpur University professor was arrested for posting anti-Mamta Banerjee cartoons. Sudipta Gupta, a young SFI activist died in police custody sparking widespread outrage. Salman Rushdie, an acclaimed author was banned from visiting Kolkata.

Mamta has often been at loggerheads with the State Human Rights Commission.

"The present government was elected democratically but in the tenure of the last two years especially I can say from my case, human rights is severely violated," JU professor Ambikesh Mahapatra said.

"No government would accept criticism of them. It's not just true of this government but also for the last government. Government will always expect the SHRC to function on the dotted line but we haven't gone by the dotted line," SHRC Chairman Justice Ashok Ganguly said.

A stagnant industry, a disappointed Singur and an increased crime rate against women, Mamta's worries are aplenty as she gets ready to celebrate her two years in power.

Political swordsmanship aside, what Mamata will really be tested in the next one year are the promises delivered and those unkept, as she gets ready to face her people again with rural body elections and the Lok Sabha polls to be held within a year.

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