Kolkata: Political greenhorns emerged as giant killers in the West Bengal elections in which the over three-decade old Left Front government was decimated by the Trinamool Congress-Congress alliance.
Among those who were felled by newcomers were outgoing Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, Finance Minister Asim Dasgupta and Industry Minister Nirupam Sen, all top CPI(M) leaders.
Bhattacharjee, who campaigned intensely for days in his Jadavpur constituency which had returned him to the state assembly since 1987, could not overcome the winds of change.
Manish Gupta, a former chief secretary and the Trinamool Congress candidate inflicted an ignominious defeat on his former boss by wresting the seat by a margin of over 16,000 votes.
FICCI secretary general Amit Mitra another non- political debutant made short work of Finance Minister Asim Dasgupta by 26,154 votes in the CPI(M) stronghold of Khardah constituency in North 24 Parganas district.
The same was the fate of Industry minister Nirupam Sen, a CPIM politburo member, who sought re-election from the Burdwan South seat.
Sen was unseated by a former professor in Burdwan University, Rabi Ranjan Chattopadhyay by a margin of over 36,000 votes.
Urban Development Minister and CPI(M) leader Ashok Bhattacharya, who contested from the red citadel of Siliguri, considered a red citadel, was humbled by Trinamool Congress's Rudranath Bhattacharya by a margin of over 5,000 votes.
Gautam Deb, who was projected as a star campaigner for the CPI(M) and had accused the Trinamool Congress of using black money to fund its election campaign, while predicting the the return for the Left Front for an eight consecutive term, bit the dust.
Playwright Bratya Basu of the Trinamool Congress showed him the door winning the Dum Dum seat by a whopping margin of 31,497 votes.
Another CPI(M) minister Kanti Ganguly, a grassroot leader who contested from Raidighi in the Sunderbans was defeated by cinestar and Trinamool Congress candidate Debasree Roy by 5553 votes.