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'Wind of change has gripped Bengal'

By Indrani Roy Mitra in Kolkata
Last updated on: May 16, 2009 11:28 IST
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According to early reports, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee was leading over the Communist Party of India-Marxist's Robin Deb in the Kolkata South constituency.

And, initial trends showed the Trinamool leading in 18 seats over the Left's 11 and the Bharatiya Janata Party's three.

"The initial trends of counting send out a clear signal: The wind of change has gripped Bengal", Krishnendu Narayan Choudhury, a senior Congress leader in West Bengal, told

"People are giving a fitting reply to 32 years of [Left] misrule," he said. "This time too, there is a landslide like it happened in the last assembly elections in Bengal; but the slide this time is tilting towards us.

"The present trend is simply unprecedented," added Choudhury, a former Trinamool Congress member who quit over ideological differences to join the Congress some time back. "No one could imagine it even two years back."

Initial trends said Trinamool candidate Sultan Ahmed was leading by 6,375 votes over

CPI-M candidate Hannan Molla in Uluberia constituency. The Congress' Adhir Chowdhury was leading over the Revolutionary Socialist Party's Promothesh Mukherjee by over 15,000 votes in Behrampore.

Trinamool's Kabir Suman was leading over the CPI-M's Sujan Chakraborty of the CPI-M- by 2,880 votes in the Jadavpur Lok Sabha constituency.

In Dum Dum on the outskirts of Kolkata, a group of Communist Party of India-Marxist activists were seen celebrating their comrade Amitava Nandy's victory over Trinamool candidate Saugata Roy long before the results were out.

Krishnendu Narayan Choudhury called it "a move triggered by desperately helpless optimism."

Even the historic Left stronghold of Barrackpore seemed shaken with Trinamool candidate Dinesh Trivedi leading over the CPI-M's Tarit Topdar, by more than 6,000 votes.

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Indrani Roy Mitra in Kolkata