Left battered in Bengal as Mamata, Congress sweep polls

Left battered in Bengal as Mamata, Congress sweep polls
PTI
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First Published: Sat, May 16 2009. 09 56 PM IST
Updated: Sat, May 16 2009. 09 56 PM IST
Kolkata: The seemingly invincible Left citadel in West Bengal crumbled as the Left parties especially the CPM suffered its biggest poll jolt since 1977 with the Trinamool Congress-Congress alliance and TC ally SUCI sweeping the Lok Sabha elections winning 26 out of the 42 seats.
The opposition’s performance, two years ahead of the assembly polls in the state in 2011 left the red bastion pulverised as Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool made deep inroads into South Bengal winning 19 seats, while Congress claimed six seats. The last time Mamata had been the sole winner for her party.
Senior BJP leader Jaswant Singh who contested the polls from the Darjeeling seat and was backed by the Gorkha Janmaukti Morcha agitating for a separate ‘Gorkhaland´, wrested the seat from Congress, while Trinamool’s ally SUCI claimed the Joynagar seat.
The Left, which had won 35 seats in the previous elections providing itself a huge platform as it dominated the national politics for five years, suffered crippling blows as it surrendered 20 seats.
The CPM, which is the biggest force in the Left Front running the government for the past 32 years and had won 26 seats last time, suffered reverses in 17 constituencies which accounted for 11 sitting MPs including Rupchand Pal and Mohammed Selim.
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First Published: Sat, May 16 2009. 09 56 PM IST