"There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature."
Jane Austen

Saturday, May 14, 2011

A New Dawn - A New Era

The dawn of May 14, 2011 brought a new era in the state of West Bengal. This morning is the first morning in my 34-year-old life when my state West Bengal is not ruled by the Left Front. The Assembly Election Results declared yesterday (May 13, 2011) did not surprise many. Everybody was expecting a TMC+Congress win over the Left Front. But did any of us foresee such a WHITEWASH? Did the Left foresee such a pathetic DOWNFALL? They could only manage to win a mere 62 seats whereas TMC+Cong spearheaded by Ms Mamata Banerjee bagged as many as 227 seats!! People of places like Bardhaman and JangalMahal, believed to be strong Left loyalists, have voted for TMC+Cong thereby producing results that have surprised and shocked one and all.

The most shocked must have been the Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya. I do not think he was shocked at his loss. Had he not been anticipating a loss, he would not have restricted all his campaigns inside his own electorate Jadavpur. My friend's in-laws living in Baghajatin (inside Jadavpur) had hinted that the CM is foreseeing a hard combat with the retired IAS Manish Gupta. But did the CM think in his worst nightmares that he would lose to Gupta by a HUGE margin of more than 16000 votes? He has virtually been thrown out!! He did not even wait for the counting to get over. He hurried to visit the Governor and submitted his resignation around 1-10 pm on the 13th. 

Most of the "heavyweight" ministers of the state have encountered similar kinds of losses. Aseem Dashgupta, Nirupam Sen, Ashok Bhattacharya, Kanti Ganguly, Anadi Sahu and last but not the least Gautam Deb who had been the most atrocious in his attitude over the past few months. He lost by a vast margin to Bratyo Basu of whom he had "never heard of" before the nominations. The arrogance has got boomeranged back to Deb's face. Apolitical contestants with no political baggage have walked over political heavyweights. One can easily comprehend that the votes were not cast in favour of Debashree Roy, or Bratyo Basu or Manish Gupta. The votes were cast in favor of Ms Mamata Banerjee. And thanks to the vigilant attitude of the Election Commission votes COULD BE cast in the 2011 West Bengal Assembly Elections. A joyous vegetable vendor at the Gariahat Market told my Dad last evening: This was the first vote in decades that we, especially our women, could cast fearlessly. This was the first vote when women did not get persistent threats like "Do you want to put on your red sarees or do you want to put on only white ones after becoming widows?". This was how elections were won and the Left RULE was retained for decades. My father says, of the last 7 Left Front Governments, only the first 2 were democratically chosen ones. The next five were rigged vigorously. Voters were stopped from reaching the polling booths and multiple votes were cast by party loyalists. People who have been suppressed and threatened like this vented out their anger and protest in the first vote that they were allowed to cast fearlessly. 

The Star Ananda Exit Poll conducted in collaboration with AC-Nielson could not have been more accurate! They predicted 225 TMC+Cong seats which turned out to be 227 in reality whereas the prediction of 60 seats for the Left Front turned out to be 62. It was the only exit poll which showed the CM losing against Manish Gupta. Even optimistic TMC loyalists found this hard to believe. But this happened and the CM experienced a landslide defeat. The only prediction that the exit poll went wrong in was Gautam Deb winning over Bratyo. Or did Star Ananda change the prediction mischievously to inflate Gautam Deb's ego and arrogance before pricking the cruel needle on the balloon? 


  1. Some astounding figures and calculations have come up in the results. The C.P.M. has got fewer seats than the Congress in the state which has astonished many Congress leaders. The Left Front, it seems, was saved from more hammering by its allies.
    Secondly, the difference in the percentage of votes is a mere 6 %. The T.M.C. + Congress alliance has bagged 48% votes while the Left Front has managed 42%. But this 6% difference has resulted in a difference of 167 seats. Such was the demographics of these elections.

  2. Thanks for these really astounding details :)