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Red fort breached in Bengal

By Jyoti Malhotra
May 16, 2009 14:25 IST
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The Red fort has breached in West Bengal, with the Trinamool Congress leading the charge.

The voters in Bengal have voted against the Left in Bengal, where it has held power for the past 32 years.

Around Kolkata and South Bengal, where the peoples' protest against forcible land acquisition by the state government dominated the headlines for the last two years, there was one mantra on everyone's lips; "We are going to vote for change."

Across Bengal, this vote for change was visible today. Analysts say this was an anti-Left vote rather than a pro-Trinamool one. The Left citadel is trembling in Bengal.

Although assembly polls are only due in 2011, it seems Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee will be so emboldened by this mandate that she is expected to exert enormous pressure on the Congress at the Centre to dismiss the West Bengal governement on some pretext or another.

Ashok Mitra, a Communist Party of India-Marxist ideologue had told on the eve of the polls," If the Trinamool did well, Mamata will occupy the highways and not rest until the Left front government is pulled down."

It is not clear whether heads will roll in Kolkata and Thiruvananthapuram, where the Left is also in power, because that is not the way the Communist parties function. The resounding defeat of the Left Democratic Front in Kerala is a result of the intra-party politics.

The continuing spat between Kerala Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan and CPI-M state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan is also believed to have contributed to the party's poor performance.

The biggest message from this seems to be that Third front governments with affirmative message do not really work. While CPI-M General Secretary Prakash Karat's job may not be on the line, his standing within the party will be affected.

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Jyoti Malhotra