Kolkata: Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress on Friday toppled the world's longest-running Communist government in West Bengal, securing three-fourths majority in the 294-member Assembly with ally Congress.
Set to take over the reins as the state's first woman chief minister, 56-year-old Mamata steered Trinamool Congress to a resounding and historic victory by bulldozing the CPM-led Left Front. Her party alone secured 185 seats, while ally Congress bagged 42 seats.
The Trinamool Congress-Congress alliance snapped up 228 seats.
Another TMC partner, SUCI, bagged the Joynagar seat in South 24 Parganas district. Three seats among six others were won by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha in Darjeeling district.
On the other hand, the CPM-led Left Front, which had secured 235 seats in the 2006 Assembly elections, suffered a meltdown managing only 61 seats. CPM on its own won just 40 seats and was leading in one.
Left Front allies Forward Bloc finished with 11 seats, followed by RSP (seven), CPI (two) and Samajwadi Party (one). Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and most of his cabinet colleagues were handed humiliating defeat. Ministers who fell by the wayside include Nirupam Sen, Asim Dasgupta, Ashok Bhattacharya, Gautam Deb, Kanti Ganguly, Naren Dey, Abdus Sattar, Anadi Sahu and Debesh Das.
The slogan for change -- Parivartan -- given by the TMC supremo swept across the state. Even in the Left citadel of Purulia, Bankura, West Midnapore and Hooghly districts, the TMC made its dent.
The TMC chief called on Governor M K Narayanan at Raj Bhavan in the evening for a courtesy call along with Leader of the Opposition Partha Chatterjee.
Earlier, addressing a huge crowd before her Kalighat residence, Mamata dedicated the victory of her party to 'Ma, Mati, Manush' (Mother, Land and People) and promised to provide good governance and an impartial administration. Bhattacharjee tendered his resignation to the governor and was requested to continue till alternative arrangements were made.
Accepting the verdict, the chief minister and CPM state secretary Biman Bose said the results were "unexpected". They said the Front would play the role of a responsible and constructive opposition in the House.
There was jubilation after the Trinamool Congress' historic win with thousands of party workers and supporters gathering in front of the TC chief's residence at Harish Chatterjee Street.
The TMC workers danced, sang and sprinkled green 'gulal' to celebrate the victory. In contrast, there was gloom in the CPM headquarters at Alimuddin Street where the party secretariat went into a huddle to review the poll debacle.