Mamata dislodges Left in a clean sweep, Buddha resigns

May 13, 2011 at 4:25 pm Leave a comment

Kolkata: Finally it has happened. The world’s longest reigning democratically elected Communist government is on its way out. A demure battle hardened woman, Mamata Banerjee, has achieved her life’s biggest goal – unseating the Left Front from Writers’ Building in Kolkata.

With a slogan as connected to the roots as “Maa Mati Manush (Mother, Soil, People)”, Banerjee is on course to become the first non-Left chief minister of West Bengal since the Marxists took power in 1977 and kept winning election after election.

West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee tendered his resignation to Goveror MK Narayanan at 1.15 pm on Friday. He lost his seat and is only the second chief minister in Bengal’s history to lose the assembly seat. Prafulla Sen, the third chief minister of Bengal, was the first to lose.

As the state was poised to get its first woman chief minister in Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee after about 64 years after independence, the defeat of the Left Front spanned almost the entire geographical map of West Bengal.

In trends for 294 seats in the 294-member Assembly, the Trinamool-led alliance was ahead in 220 seats.

The Left Front was ahead in only 68 seats.

Left’s candidates were losing even in erstwhile red citadels like Burdwan, Bankura and Purulia districts and in seats where the coalition had never been defeated since coming to power in 1977.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was ahead in one seat, while others in just five.

South Kolkata’s Harish Chatterjee Street, which houses Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee’s residence, is swarming with people wanting to wish their ‘Didi’ for uprooting the Left from their strongest bastion.

A visit to her neighbourhood helps explain her populist appeal. The firebrand Mamata lives with her mother in a modest house near Kalighat temple close to stream of sewage and crematorium.

Connected to the roots she has managed the unimaginable and Kalighat is rejoicing its most famous progeny.

Every nook and corner of the locality has been decorated with giant cardboard cutouts of the party chief and the party’s election symbol and crackers are being burst by ecstatic Trinamool supporters. The whole area is swarming with only one colour, green as it is the colour that has come to represent Trinamool in contrast to the red of the Left Front led by the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M).

It’s not just Kalighat, the two-third majority implies that Bengal as a whole has decided its time for change. Even after seven consecutive election wins, the Communists stumbled, mainly due to a badly-implemented plan to seize farming land for industry to help the state’s moribund economy and provide manufacturing jobs.

Voters saw them as stuck in a time warp and their exasperation over red tape and Marxist sloganeering has grown to a point of no return.

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