The Trinamool Congress was Friday headed for a historic win in West Bengal, bringing down the curtain on the 34-year uninterrupted rule of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) led Left Front.
The Left Front – the longest serving Communist-led government in a democratic set-up – was headed for a rout with most of its ministers, including Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, trailing behind their opponents.
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.
Its 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.
In trends for 266 seats in the 294-member assembly, the Trinamool was ahead in 153 seats and its alliance partner Congress in 32.
The Left front was ahead in only 71 seats, with CPI-M leading in 49, Communist Party of India in four, Forward Bloc (12) and Revolutionary Socialist Party (6).
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was ahead in two seats, others in seven and an independent in one.
Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee was trailing in Jadavpore – a constituency in South 24 Parganas on the outskirts of Kolkata where he won the last five elections from 1987.
His rival, tipped to get the prized seat, was Trinamool nominee and former bureaucrat Manish Gupta, who had served a short stint as chief secretary during the early period of Bhattacharjee’s chief ministerial tenure.
Nine other ministers, including Nirupam Sen (industries) and Asim Dadgupta (finance) were trailing. Only Land and Revenue Minister Abdur Rezzak Mollah was leading.
Among the Trinamool heavyweights, leader of the opposition in the outgoing assembly Partha Chatterjee and Kolkata Mayor Sovan Chatterjee were in the lead.
Other Trinamool nominees were leading too — like FICCI secretary general and eminent economist Amit Mitra was ahead of incumbent finance minister Asim Dasgupta in Khardah, singer Anup Ghoshal was ahead in Uttarpara, while theatre personality Bratya Basu and film actress Debashreee Roy had left behind their CPI-M opponents in Dum Dum and Raidighi respectively.(IANS)