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Rediff.com  » News » Left Front faces rout, history is being made in Bengal

Left Front faces rout, history is being made in Bengal

May 13, 2011 10:11 IST
Early trends from West Bengal's assembly elections indicate that the Trinamool Congress-Congress alliance will form the next government.

And Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee is likely to be the next chief minister.

The Left Front camp seems shellshocked as news of its heavyweights Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, Gautam Deb, Ashim Dasgupta trailing in their respective constituencies poured in.

The Left Front, a 10-party coalition spearheaded by the Communist Party of India-Marxist, came to power in 1977 riding on the people's 'war' against the excesses of Emergency imposed by former prime minister, the late Indira Gandhi.

In subsequent years, the combine has won six back-to-back state assembly polls, but this year's elections were generally regarded as its toughest test.

Today's vote count would decide the destiny of 1,792 candidates, including Chief Minister Bhattacharjee (Jadavpur constituency), Industries Minister Nirupam Sen (Burdwan South), state Congress president Manas Bhuniya (Sabong), Leader of Opposition in outgoing assembly and Trinamool heavyweight Partha Chatterjee (Behala West), and Kolkata Mayor and Trinamool leader Sovan Chatterjee (Behala East).

Trinamool fielded several celebrities like singers Anup Ghoshal (Uttarpara) and Parikkhit Bala (Sainthia), film stars Chiranjeet Chakraborty (Barasat) and Debashree Roy (Raidighi),

thespian Bratya Basu, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry secretary general Amit Mitra and former chief secretary Manish Gupta. Mitra is pitted against West Bengal Finance Minister Ashim Dasgupta while Gupta is contesting against Buddhadeb.

The votes are being counted in 83 centres, each of which is guarded by three companies of the central paramilitary troopers, apart from state police personnel.

At the time of writing, the TMC-Congress was leading in 191 seats whereas Left Front was ahead in 66 assembly constituencies.

According to political analysts, the result is on expected lines.

The Left Front's defeat, which seems certain, is significant as it will give the eastern state its first woman chief minister in (Mamata) Banerjee.
Indrani Mitra-Roy in Kolkata