Trinamool Congress chief and West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee

It is now 22 years since All India Trinamool Congress (AITC) was formed. From a small regional party in 1998, when it was formed under the leadership of Mamata Banerjee, Trinamool Congress is now a force to reckon with in national politics.

To mark this day, the West Bengal Chief Minister took to Twitter and said, “#Trinamool22 Today @AITCofficial turns 22. The journey which began on January 1, 1998, has been full of struggles, but we have been steadfast in our resolve to fight for the people. We thank Maa-Mati-Manush for their constant support. Our workers are our biggest assets.”

“ #Trinamool22 We are observing the foundation day of @AITCofficial as ‘Nagorik Dibas’ (Citizens Day) in every booth of #Bangla. We all are citizens and Trinamool will continue to fight for the rights of the people. Jai Hind. Jai Bangla,” she added.

The Trinamool Congress was founded on January 1, 1998 with Banerjee being chosen as the leader of the party.

Mamata’s party fought the general elections for the first time that year itself and significantly won eight seats in the Lok Sabha from West Bengal.

On the day of the inception of Trinamool Congress, Mamata sketched the logo of the party which signifies ‘grass-root’ (two saplings on the grass).

“She thought if the Election Commission approves the logo then she will achieve two goals: one, the launch of her party and two, of simultaneously taking the philosophy of the party and explaining to the people her deep thought behind the logo, which was the message of secularism, “Ek e brinte duti kusum, Hindu Musalman, ekjon tar noyonmoni onno ti tar pran” (two buds on the tree, Hindu and Muslim. If one of them is the eye, then the other is life),” according to a party statement.

“The Election Commission did approve the logo but had also issued a stricture which read if the Trinamool Congress failed to get six-percentage of votes in the 12th Lok Sabha elections, then the pre-symbol will be cancelled. The Trinamool Congress well passed the cut-off percentage and the party was born,” the party said.

After the 1999 general election, Mamata Banerjee became the Railways Minister, which she remained till 2001.

In 2000, the Trinamool Congress fought the election for the Kolkata Municipal Corporation for the first time and won overwhelmingly. For the first time, the Kolkata Mayor was a Trinamool candidate.

In 2001, the Trinamool Congress fought the State Assembly election for the first time and won 60 seats. And there was no looking back ever since as Mamata went on to become the first woman Chief Minister of West Bengal in 2011.

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