With just one day to go for the new chief minister to be sworn in, the famous and powerful Writers' Building is making sure all is in place to welcome Mamata Bannerjee.
It's only the paint that remains red on the façade of the Writers' Buildings in Kolkata. The corridors of Bengal's power centre - which have for over three decades taken orders from the Left - is having to quickly adapt to a new regime before the first woman chief minister of the state walks in and assumes charge on Friday. Giant banners of the Trinamool Congress employees union now dominate the building that used to be called laal bari or the red building.
"One who's coming in, I am sure she will meet all our demands," said Animesh Ghosh, Writers' employee.
"We think this is a change for the better and welcome it wholeheartedly," said Biswajit Bhattacharya, Writers' employee.
Preparations to welcome Mamata Banerjee are on in full swing. Pulling down the name plate of her opponent and predecessor from the door of the chief minister's chamber and replacing it with her name is only a government order away. Ministers' chambers are also being revamped with new furniture and fresh coats of paint. The public works department has even pulled down the former irrigation minister's chamber to build a waiting room for guests who may come to visit the new set of ministers. The secretariat's bank has been shifted to accommodate Mamata Banerjee's visitors.
"Actually we do it from our non-plan expenditure. So that is not a problem. Till now whatever we have done the cost will not be more than Rs 5-7 lakhs," said AR Bardhan, PWD Secretary, West Bengal.
The repair and renovation work could be merely cosmetic but they are also symbolic. That's because Bengal certainly hopes that the change of guard in these corridors of power would usher in a changed work culture amongst the babus who would be responsible for implementing the promises made by Mamata Banerjee ahead of the polls.