Political party in India – All India Trinamool Congress
Founded in January 1998 by Mamata Banerjee, the All India Trinamool Congress (AITMC), popularly called the Trinamool Congress or AITMC, is a state-level political party. It has formed the present government in the 2011 Vidhan Sabha elections in the state of West Bengal, after defeating the 34-year rule of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) or CPIM. The AITMC which is a breakaway faction of the Indian National Congress, has a centre-left political position with political ideologies of secularism and populism.
The AITMC is the brainchild of Mamata Banerjee. After being a member of the Congress for two decades, Banerjee formed her own party in 1998, as approved by the Election Commission of India. AITMC formed an alliance with the BJP in the NDA coalition at the Centre in 1999. Mamata Banerjee was allotted the Ministry of Railways during the NDA regime, but she resigned within a short span of time, having split with the NDA. In the general elections in 2009, the AITMC aligned with the Congress in the UPA coalition. However, due to the “anti-people” policies of the Congress-led UPA government such as introducing FDI in retail sector, disinvestment of profit-making PSUs and increasing the price of diesel, the AITMC severed ties with the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government in September 2012. Today, the AITMC is the sixth largest political party in the Lok Sabha with a total of nineteen seats. It has a visible presence not only in the state of West Bengal, but other states like Tripura, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh, where it has a significant number of MLAs in the Vidhan Sabha of these respective states. In the state Legislative Assemblies of Assam and Uttar Pradesh, the AITMC has one MLA each. It draws its mass base primarily from the states of West Bengal and Manipur.
Election Symbol and its Significance
The election symbol of the AITMC, as approved by the Election Commission of India, is the “twin flowers in grass”. This exclusive symbol is famously called by the term Jora Ghas Phul (meaning grass and two flowers) in West Bengal. The symbol has all the colours of the Indian flag and its political slogan of ‘Ma Maati Manush’ (Mother Motherland and People) highlights its significance. The AITMC symbol of the flowers and grass represents the essence of our nation, of the motherhood or the country. The ‘maati’ or ‘motherland’ here signifies mother or ‘Ma’. The people dwelling on the motherland are called ‘manush’. The AITMC is a political party which stands for the down-trodden sections of the society. The political slogan of the AITMC became its war-cry in the State Assembly elections of 2011. The simple flowers used in the symbol indicates that the AITMC is in support of those sections of the society which are apparently insignificant and are oppressed.