CM, West Bengal
Cladded in simple white sarees, Mamta Banerjee became Didi, which mean elder sister to West Bengal when politics were brimming with patriarchs. Banerjee was active in politics from her college days. belonging to a middle-class family, Banerjee grew up in southern Calcutta. She joined Congress while completing her studies from the University of Calcutta. She was first elected to the lower house (Lok Sabha) of the national parliament in 1984 from her home district in south Kolkata. She lost that seat in the 1989 parliamentary elections but regained it in 1991 never losing it again. In 1997 she separated from the Congress and formed her own party, All India Trinamool Congress to confront the Communist Party of India (M) in Bengal.
The farmer's protests in Singur against the government forcibly acquiring the lad for Tata's Nano project became a catalyst for Banerjee's political career. Banerjee sat in for a 25 days hunger strike supporting the farmers. In the consecutive years, she campaigned for human rights, against land acquisition schemes leading to her victory in the 2011 assembly election ending the era of the communist party which lasted for 30 years.
She is at present one of the few leaders, strongly voicing her dissent against the central government.