Kolkata: The results of the West Bengal municipal elections on Wednesday seem to be a green signal for the Trinamool Congress supporters after 34 years of Red rule in the state. Trinamool supporters took out a victory rally which went right in front of the Communist Party of India-Marxist office in Kolkata. It was a clear indication that the Red citadel has been breached.
"We have to review the municipal poll results and have to review what wrong and search within ourselves and rectify within ourselves. The Left will have to think about the interest of the people and we have to adopt such programmes. Will try to repair this damage," said Left Front Chairman Biman Bose.
But that may be too little too late. The slide that began with the 2008 panchayat polls, followed by the rout in 2009 Lok Sabha elections, seen as a referendum on the Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee government's aggressive industrialisation policy continues.
CPI-M internal assessment then had blamed the erosion of Muslim votes and arrogance in the party cadre among key factors. After Trinamool's thumping victory, CPI-M is struggling to look for a silver line.
"We have not been able to reverse the slide but have been able to arrest it," senior CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury said.
But neither a re-look at land acquisition, nor the promise of reservation in jobs for Muslims appears to have worked with the voter. After 34 years of Communist rule West Bengal it seems is thirsty for "pariborton" (change).
There is no doubt that there is an enormous amount of anger against the Left, not just from voters or ordinary citizens but also from Left supporters that is making a political turnaround a near impossibility.
The next challenge for the Left will be the Assembly elections in 2011. With a rampaging Mamata and no clear cut immediate solutions available before the comrades, the next few months are going to be very tough for the Left in West Bengal.