Green revolution in Bengal air
The scent of victory was in the air early today at Mamata Banerjee's modest house in south Kolkata's Kalighat neighbourhood, where hundreds of Trinamool Congress workers huddled in front of TV sets, and media persons got ready to capture history in the making. Ravik Bhattacharya writes.india Updated: May 13, 2011 13:51 IST
The scent of victory was in the air early on Friday at Mamata Banerjee's modest house in south Kolkata's Kalighat neighbourhood, where hundreds of Trinamool Congress workers huddled in front of TV sets, and media persons got ready to capture history in the making.
By 9.30am, as the poll trends left little doubt that the Left's 34-year rule was ending, party faithfuls, select Trinamool leaders and the entire neighbourhood started filling the lanes outside the house of the area's most famous resident.
Soon, the green flags and gulal came out as shouts of "Trinamool Trinamool" reverberated on 30-B Harish Chatterjee Street. Within an hour, the crowd swelled to thousands.
Trinamool leader Derek O'Brien could not stop smiling.
"I'm speechless," he said.
"The one traffic light in the world that was red for 34 years, just turned green," O'Brien posted on micro-blogging site Twitter.
Others were equally ecstatic.
"This is a new Bengal born," said party supporter Naresh Jana, as sweets were distributed and a green Holi of sorts played on the streets.
Praful Das, who has been working in a shop owned by Mamata's brother for 20 years, said it was the end of "such a long struggle" for the Trinamool chief -- now set to be the chief minister of West Bengal.
Let the celebrations begin, but peacefully.
A little before noon, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee stepped out of her house, sending the waiting crowd into a frenzy.
"It's the people's verdict, it's the motherland's victory. We will definitely celebrate it but the celebration should be peaceful," she told her supporters.
Her comments came amid heightened fears that the sweeping victory could trigger clashes between supports of Trinamool and the Left.
Chief election commissioner SY Quraishi said security was on alert to prevent any violence during the counting.
The fear of violence was palpable as in many places streets remained deserted and people avoided going to work.