New Delhi: The number 13 has proved lucky for Mamata Banerjee. On Friday, May 13, Mamata is set to join an exclusive list that has 13 members at present - a list of women chief ministers. Mamata also floated the Trinamool Congress 13 years ago, in 1998.
There have been 13 women chief ministers since independence and on this Friday, the 13th, the list just got bigger with Mamata joining the select list with her Trinamool Congress crushing the Left Front in West Bengal. It was also a day that saw Jayalalithaa surge back to power as chief minister of Tamil Nadu.
The 13 women chief ministers since 1947 are:
Sucheta Kripalani: The first woman to be chief minister of any state in India, Kripalani was a freedom fighter and from the Congress. She presided over Uttar Pradesh from October 1963 to May 1967.
Nandini Satpathy: Also from the Congress, she was chief minister of Orissa from June 1972 to March 1974 and from March 1974 to December 1976.
Sashikala Kakodkar: She became the second chief minister of Goa in August 1973 after the death of predecessor and her father Dayanand Bandodkar. She belonged to Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party. She ruled till April 1979.
Syeda Anwara Taimur: The Congress chief minister of Assam from December 1980 to June 1981, her term ended when the state was put under President's Rule.
Janaki Ramachandran: The widow of the legendary MGR, who founded the AIADMK, she was chief minister of Tamil Nadu for less than a month -- from Jan 7 to 30, 1988.
J. Jayalalithaa: Film actor-turned-politician, Jayalalithaa became chief minister of Tamil Nadu in 1991 after the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi by the Tamil Tigers. She again ruled Tamil Nadu from 2001 to 2006. She is set to return to power again.
Mayawati: The Bahujan Samaj Party leader is serving as chief minister of Uttar Pradesh for the fourth time after three short tenures between 1995 and 2003. Her first stint was from June to October 1995, then March to September 1997 and from May to September 2003.
Rajinder Kaur Bhattal: She was chief minister of Punjab from April 1996 to February 1997. She was from the Congress.
Rabri Devi: Rabri Devi became the chief minister of Bihar in the Rashtriya Janata Dal government after her husband Lalu Prasad had to step down following corruption charges. Her first stint was from July 1997 to February 1999 and then from March 1999 to March 2000.
Sushma Swaraj: She was chief minister of Delhi from Oct 13 to Dec 3, 1998.
Sheila Dikshit: A Congress veteran, Dikshit became chief minister of Delhi in 1998 and is presently serving her third term. She was elected for a second time in 2003 and then in 2008. She is the only woman chief minister to lead a government for a third consecutive term.
Uma Bharti: She headed the Madhya Pradesh government for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) from December 2003 to August 2004.
Vasundhara Raje: Belonging to the erstwhile royal Maratha Scindia family, she was chief minister of Rajasthan from 2003 to 2008 for the BJP.