India's elections have left the country's once-powerful communists staring into the political abyss after their worst showing in three decades.
The four communist parties that make up the Left Front were routed in their traditional bastions of West Bengal and Kerala, and senior heads are expected to roll as they try to come to terms with the humiliating result.
Verdict 2009: Singh is King.. again!
From being the third largest group with 61 seats in the 543-seat Lok Sabha in 2004, the Front's tally collapsed to 24 in this election.
The coalition's leading member, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) or CPI(M) saw its seat share plunge from 35 to just 15 in West Bengal where it was, until recently, considered an unassailable force.
Images: Copyright PTI . Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.
Image: CPI General Secretary A B Bardhan along with party national secretary D Raja and State CPI central secretariat member Manju Kumar Majumder during the CPI National Executive Meeting at the party office in New Delhi on Tuesday, May19, 2009.