Kolkata, May, 14: The chaiwala of CPI (M)'s Alimuddin from central Kolkata was talking about out-going Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee who walked into the party office at 10 am.
"The Chief Minister was expecting a defeat but he is still bewildered that the Left could not even reach the three-figure mark in Bengal," said an insider. In his words, “This result is unexpected and shocking and unexpected."While the think tank of left looked at a loss to explain the reason behind the electoral debacle.
Even the city of joy erupted in jubilation, perhaps for the first time since 1947 with thousands of citizens including women and children coming out on impulse to celebrate the defeat of left saying "Left Front failed to realize the very fact that the people have accepted Mamata Banerjee's call for Parivartan and discarded our arguments against this."
True, the seasoned Marxist campaigners might have failed to read the people's thinking in favor of change the anti-incumbency factor gone heavily against the Left parties. This was no ordinary anger but a deep-rooted discontent against them who were in power for 35 long years. "I was not born and not seen the reported violence perpetrated by the SS Ray regime. I wanted to a changed regime because I was bored with seeing same faces at the Writers. My father voted for the Left but I voted for Mamata," said Parinita a IT consultant of Kolkata.
The 8 % vote shift in favour of Mamata did not come from the new voters but from the Left vote bank who wanted to see the back of Marxists at least for once.In fact about 47%of 4.8 crore voters who exercised their franchise this time round were women it was simply Mamta effect.
The anti-incumbency factor apart what did the Left in was a steady estrangement in the rural area. Distribution of land Pattas after 2009 electoral debacle and the Government promise of Rs 2/kg rice it cut minor ice with the people. "We simply could not instill the old confidence among the farmers," said a State secretariat member
Analysts felt the anti-incumbency factor led to the defeat of at least 6 performing Ministers of the Left Government. They were Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, Kanti Ganguli, Gautam Deb, Ashok Bhattacharya, Debesh Das and Anadi Sahoo.
The anti-incumbency ghost was only precipitated by the arrogance and local-level massive corruption among the Left leadership.
Repeated appeal by leaders in public rallies to cadres to follow the 'humility code' did not convince the voters in favor of Left.
The Muslim voter also turned its face off the Left despite of the declaration of 10% job reservation for the backward Muslims. In districts where Muslims are either in majority or are present in substantial numbers like Malda, Murshidabad, Nadia the Left has won only 16 out of about 60 seats.
The Let was expecting a minimum of 115 seats based on the strength it had in North Bengal, Burdwan and Maoist-hit districts of Purulia, Bankura and West Midnapore. "Even in 2009 we managed to get lead from most of the seats from here," said Madan Ghosh CPI (M) State secretariat member.
The confusion in Northern part of state on account of the presence of GJM and Akhil Bharatiya Adivasi Parishad made things difficult for Left.