“The Left Front is on its way out; the farewell alarm has rung,”, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee said here on Monday, a day after the elections to 81 civic bodies across West Bengal.
“The Left Front government is gone. There is no government [in West Bengal]”, said Ms. Banerjee who had, in the course of election campaigning, spoken of seeking to bring forward to later this year the Assembly polls due in 2011 in the event of her party winning the civic polls.
Though the results will not be announced before June 2 the Trinamool Congress leadership is confident of victory. The outcome, according to the Opposition, will be the people's verdict on the performance of the government.
Subrata Mukherjee, senior vice president of the Trinamool Congress who was also in charge of its campaign committee, said that “the results will be historical” and go overwhelmingly in favour of his party.
The leadership of the Kolkata district committee of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) refused to be drawn into any comment on the outcome of exit polls conducted by some local television channels that forecast a victory for the Trinamool Congress both in the KMC and the Bidhannagar (Salt Lake) municipality.
A former Mayor of the KMC, Mr. Mukherjee who had left the Congress to rejoin the Trinamool Congress earlier this month said: “I believe that we will win a majority of seats [wards] both in the KMC and the Bidhannagar municipality and set up boards on our own. We will also win in a majority of the municipalities.”
Asked by journalists how the outcome might compare with the Trinamool Congress' performance in the Lok Sabha polls last year, he said that “the success should in no way be any less.”
“We can see that the people are caught up in the wind of change and that they also have faith in Mamata Banerjee,” Mr. Mukherjee said.
Resistance from public
Despite attempts by supporters of the Left parties to disturb the poll process in some areas, he claimed that “after a long time such efforts were met with resistance from the public.”
“Such a popular resistance was unimaginable in earlier times,” Mr. Mukherjee observed.
The Left parties “have sensed defeat and their supporters are turning desperate and engaging in terror,” he alleged.