Brand Buddha helped LF sweep polls

The fragmented opposition and division in anti-Left votes might be two major factors for the landslide victory.

india Updated: May 13, 2006 17:05 IST

Making history, the Left juggernaut rolled on in West Bengal for the seventh consecutive time with more than three-fourth majority, capitalising on the disunited opposition, split in anti-Left votes as well as riding on the 'brand Buddhadev' phenomenon.

The fragmented opposition and the division in anti-Left votes might be the two major factors for the Left Front's landslide victory, but Chief Minister Buddhadev Bhattacharjee's pro-reform image was also a contributor to the LF's massive win.

Poll statistics available so far indicated that the split in anti-Left votes paved the way for the LF's victory in a substantial number of seats in Kolkata, adjoining districts of North and South 24 Paraganas, Howrah and Hooghly besides Nadia and East Midnapore.

In the 294-member assembly, the Left Front secured 235 seats, 36 more than its 2001 tally, with CPI-M alone regaining an absolute majority with 176 seats.

The main opposition Trinamool Congress, on the other hand put up a dismal showing with only 29 seats, less than half of its tally of 60 in the last assembly poll.

Congress too suffered reverses as the party's number of seats have gone down to 21 from the previous 25.

The LF's performance was creditable as CPI-M, the dominant partner, got as many as 176 of its 210 candidates elected to the assembly.

CPI-M state secretary Biman Bose said the LF secured 50.24 per cent votes in this election. The Front had got 49.50 per cent votes in 2001.

First Published: May 13, 2006 17:05 IST