Communists on Friday accepted defeat in West Bengal as the Trinamool Congress was poised to crush 34 years of Left Front rule in one of the most stunning verdicts in India's electoral history.
"It's a people's mandate, and we respect the mandate," Gurudas Dasgupta of the Communist Party of India (CPI) said.
Denying that the verdict meant the annihilation of the Left in the state, he said: "We will continue to remain in the battlefield."
The CPI is one of the junior partners in the Left Front that is headed by the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M). The Left has ruled West Bengal since 1977.