A pall of gloom descended upon the Communist Party of India-Marxist’s (CPI-M) state headquarters on Wednesday. The gates were ajar, but a hushed silence prevailed on the premises.
Even the road leading to the building wore a deserted look.
It seemed like the building too was mourning the party’s drubbing in municipal polls, which for many has heralded the beginning of the end of the CPI-M’s 33-year-long domination of state politics.
Former MP Mohammad Selim and state secretariat member Robin Deb arrived and swiftly moved in. Neither glanced at anyone standing outside after stepping out of their cars.
Carrying flags and shouting slogans, some Trinamool Congress supporters sped by, turning towards the building as they zoomed past. But the guards at the gate seemed uninterested.
But five km away, the mood at Writers’ Building, the state secretariat, was different. The Trinamool Congress supporters took a victory march in the corridors while Left Front ministers were nowhere to be seen.
Inside, state commerce and industry minister and CPM politburo member Nirupam Sen admitted the party’s defeat.
Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, who came to Writers’ Building, also did not speak to reporters.
But the repartee of the day came from PWD Minister Khsiti Goswami. He told power utility CESC officials, who wanted to erect a sub-station just opposite Writers’ Building, “Do it in three months if you can. We won’t be in power that long.” “The job would take 15 months,” the CESC officials had said.