Mediapersons outnumbered CPI(M) supporters and leaders on Friday at Muzaffar Ahmad Bhawan, the CPI(M) headquarters at Kolkata’s Alimuddin Street.
Outgoing chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, who was there from 10am to 1.30pm, did not speak to the media. A combative Left Front chairman Biman Bose – who had lashed out at the media and claimed the Left would win comfortably, a day before the results – looked grim and visibly irritated on Friday.
“The Left was not born only to win elections,” he said. “We will continue to oppose the anti-people policies of the Centre.” He said his party could not “read the mind” of the electorate.
“The result was unexpected to us,” he said, adding that the people of West Bengal had responded to Trinamool’s “call for change”.
“We accept our defeat,” he said. “We accept our failure to gauge ground realities.”
When asked if he or his party would congratulate Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee, Bose said: “In a democratic set up, one doesn’t offer condolence messages to the defeated – nor do you dance in joy for the victors.” He added, “Our calculations were wrong. We will sit and analyse the results.”
He said the Left would play the role of a “responsible” opposition. “We will offer full support to the new government on matters of development and progress,” he said.
There were some tense moments at around 4.45 pm when a group of ecstatic Trinamool supporters – their faces painted green and party flags firmly in hand – passed the CPI(M) headquarters on motorcycles, a reminder, if one was needed, that the power centre in West Bengal had moved away from Alimuddin Street.