The day Arambag is lost, Bengal will fall, CPI(M) supporters would often say. On Friday, their worst fears came true. Arambag fell. CPI(M) lost three out of four seats in the sub-division. The Left managed to retain only Goghat. The victory margin diminished to just 4,265 votes. In the 2006 assembly polls, CPI(M) had won the seat with a margin of 73,201 votes.
In the 2004 Parliamentary elections, Arambag created a national record when six-times CPI(M) MP Anil Bose won the seat by 5,92,000 votes.
When the Left Front was routed in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls, Arambag stood firm with the CPI(M) candidate winning by 60,000 votes.
But on Friday, Mamata Banerjee’s men conquered Arambag by 19, 563 votes. They also won from Khanakul and Pursurah by 27,935 and 31,690 votes, respectively. Trinamool had lost both the seats in the 2006 polls by a margin of 31, 323 and 34,962 votes.
In Hooghly district, Left’s performance was equally bad. It had won only two out of the 18 assembly seats in sharp contrast to the 2006 results. In Burdwan, the Left won nine out of 25 seats. Five years ago, they had bagged 22.
All the four ministers from Hooghly district, education minister Sudarshan Roy Choudhury, agriculture minister Naren De, fire and emergency services minister Pratim Chatterjee and minister of state, information and culture, Anjan Bera, bit the dust.
In Burdwan, high-profile commerce and industries minister Nirupam Sen lost by 30,000 votes.
“This is people’s victory. They were aghast with CPI(M)’s oppressive reign,” Krishnapada Santra, Trinamool candidate from Arambag constituency, said.
Trinamool’s huge victory in Singur has come as a body blow to Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee’s industrial drive.
Becharam Manna, the face of the Singur movement who contested from neighbouring Haripal constituency, won by more than 20,000 votes.
In Burdwan, however, the Left has managed to retain some of the seats. They won from Raina, Mongalkot, Khandaghosh and Monteshwar, which have witnessed widespread political violence between the Trinamool and the CPI(M) for the last couple of years.
“The results are unexpected. We would first scrutinise the results and then comment,” Amal Haldar, Burdwan district secretary of CPI(M), said.