Kolkata: With the initial trends signalling a Trinamool Congress sweep in West Bengal making the most spectacular electoral history as the 34-year-old Left rule crumbled, the Left Front conceded defeat on Friday.

“It's a people's mandate, and we respect the mandate,” Gurudas Dasgupta of the Communist Party of India (CPI) said.  Denying that the verdict meant the annihilation of the Left in the state, he said, “We will continue to remain in the battlefield.”

The CPI is one of the junior partners in the Left Front that is headed by the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M). The Left has ruled West Bengal since 1977.