Kolkata: Very few politicians, and fewer still with no political background, have had such a high-profile entry into the political arena as Trinamool Congress nominee Manish Gupta. The former West Bengal Chief Secretary emerged as a giant killer in his maiden electoral battle, humbling Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee at Jadavpur constituency by 16,684 votes.
Mr Gupta got 103,972 votes while Mr Bhattacharjee secured 87,288 votes.
Mr Bhattacharjee had been winning from Jadavpur since 1987. This is the first time the Communist Party of India-Marxist has lost in Jadavpur assembly seat since the party was formed in 1967.
Mr Gupta however, does not consider himself a giant killer. " The people of Jadavpur have voted Buddhadeb out of power ; he was in the constituency for 20 years and did nothing," said Mr Gupta to NDTV.
He admitted that he won his seat because of a Mamata Bannerjee but said that he was not afraid to take on the Chief Minister.
A soldier-turned-bureaucrat, 69-year old Manish Gupta had served as West Bengal chief secretary under Jyoti Basu and Bhattacharjee, and comes into politics with four decades of administrative experience. However, he is playing safe, as far as his role in the new government are concerned.
"I don't expect any ministerial berth. My job is to work in my constituency," Mr Gupta said.
Smarting not just from the loss of his seat, but also the heaviest electoral defeat for the Left parties in West Bengal in over three decades, Mr Bhattacharjee tendered his resignation to Governor M K Naraynan at the Raj Bhavan this evening.
(With IANS inputs)